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NHL hits Predators forward Austin Watson with 27-game suspension

Sportsnet logo Sportsnet 2018-09-12 Associated Press
© Chris O'Meara/AP

NASHVILLE — Predators forward Austin Watson has been suspended without pay for the entire preseason and first 27 games of the regular season for domestic abuse.

Commissioner Gary Bettman handed down the suspension Wednesday after an investigation and a hearing with Watson last week. Watson pleaded no contest in July to a charge of domestic assault stemming from an incident in June, and the NHL found Watson engaged in unacceptable off-ice conduct.

Bettman says he has determined Watson engaged in a physical confrontation with his domestic partner. The commissioner added the league cannot and will not tolerate this and similar types of conduct.

The National Hockey League Players’ Association says it will appeal the suspension.

The NHL does not have a written domestic abuse policy and has chosen to judge each incident separately. Slava Voynov is currently still suspended indefinitely for a 2014 incident.

The Nashville Predators issued a statement saying the team supported and worked closely with the league investigation.

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