NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Nashville Predators have reinstated Austin Watson to the team's active roster following his suspension related to a domestic assault incident in Williamson County.
According to a statement released by the team, "The Nashville Predators continue to support Austin, Jennifer and their baby as they take the necessary steps to move forward as a family."
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to News4 for updates.
ORIGINAL STORY from Oct. 11, 2018:
Austin Watson’s suspension related to a domestic assault incident in Williamson County during the summer has been reduced, the NHL announced on Thursday.
Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson has been suspended for all preseason and the first 27 games of the 2018-19 regular season, without p…
The suspension for Watson has been reduced from 27 games to 18 games after an appeal, Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled on Thursday.
Watson was originally suspended for all preseason and the first 27 games of the 2018-19 regular season, without pay, for unacceptable off-ice conduct.
"Our organization was not involved in the appeal of Austin Watson’s 27-game suspension, but we are aware of its reduction to 18 games. As previously stated, our focus has and will continue to be the health and well-being of Austin and his family," the Predators said in a statement.
Predators forward Austin Watson plead "no contest" to domestic assault charges today in Williamson County Court.
The NHL released a statement on Friday concerning the arbitrator's decision to reduce Watson's suspension.
“We have reviewed Arbitrator Shyam Das’ opinion in the NHLPA’s appeal of Austin Watson’s suspension for domestic assault which reduced the League-imposed suspension of 27 games to 18 games. We are disappointed with the Arbitrator’s decision. We firmly believe that the right of appeal to an arbitrator of League discipline was never intended to substitute the arbitrator’s judgment for that of the Commissioner, particularly on matters of important League policy and the articulation of acceptable standards of conduct for individuals involved in the National Hockey League.
“The NHL remains committed to continuing to do what we believe is right. And, in this regard, we intend to continue our steadfast efforts to ensure everyone in our League is adequately educated and sensitized to the importance of this serious social issue. We will not hesitate to adhere to and enforce – through firm discipline as necessary – the standards of personal conduct we feel are appropriate for our League.”
However, Watson did dress and participate in pre-game activities at Tuesday’s home opener when the Predators raised banners for winning the Central Division and Western Conference regular season title, and the President’s Cup last season.
Watson would be eligible to return to the team on Nov. 15, the last game of a five-city, nine-day roadtrip.
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.