Girl­friend takes blame

Wat­son’s part­ner says in­ci­dent was not do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

Winnipeg Sun - - SPORTS - — Post­media wire ser­vices

NASHVILLE — Austin Wat­son’s girl­friend is tak­ing blame for the in­ci­dent that led the NHL to sus­pend the Nashville Preda­tors’ for­ward for 27 games, a pun­ish­ment re­duced to 18 games by an ar­bi­tra­tor on ap­peal.

Jenn Guardino is­sued a state­ment Satur­day say­ing the in­ci­dent on June 16 was not an act of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and that Wat­son would never hit or abuse her.

“My be­hav­iour and state of in­tox­i­ca­tion lead to the po­lice be­ing in­volved that day,” Guardino said.

“I have strug­gled with al­co­holism for many years and I am ac­tively in­volved in AA. I am for­tu­nate to have Austin’s con­tin­ued sup­port with my treat­ment. We han­dled mat­ters poorly on June 16th and know that we need to make bet­ter de­ci­sions go­ing for­ward.”

Guardino also apol­o­gized to ev­ery­one in­volved, in­clud­ing the Preda­tors and the city of Nashville.

Wat­son was ar­rested June 16 af­ter a wit­ness flagged down a po­lice of­fi­cer to a gas sta­tion in Franklin, Ten­nessee. Wat­son told po­lice he and his girl­friend were ar­gu­ing and that he pushed her. Of­fi­cers said they found red marks on her chest, and she said Wat­son caused them. Wat­son pleaded no con­test to do­mes­tic as­sault on July 24.

He can have the mis­de­meanour charge dis­missed by ful­fill­ing terms of his ju­di­cial diver­sion pro­gram.

Wat­son must serve three months of pro­ba­tion and com­plete both an in-pa­tient treat­ment pro­gram and a bat­terer’s in­ter­ven­tion pro­gram.

The NHL sus­pended Wat­son on Sept. 12 for 28 games, and both the league and the NHL Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced Thurs­day that ar­bi­tra­tor Shyam Das had re­duced it to 18 games.

The league is­sued a state­ment Fri­day say­ing the NHL was dis­ap­pointed with the ar­bi­tra­tor’s de­ci­sion on an is­sue of per­sonal con­duct. The NHL doesn’t have a writ­ten do­mes­tic vi­o­lence pol­icy and takes each sit­u­a­tion on a case by case ba­sis.

HABS RE­CALL LIND­GREN

BROSSARD, Que. — The Mon­treal Cana­di­ens re­called goal­tender Char­lie Lind­gren on an emer­gency ba­sis Satur­day with reg­u­lar starter Carey Price out due to flu-like symp­toms.

Lind­gren has a 2-1-0 record in three games with the Amer­i­can Hockey League’s Laval Rocket this sea­son. He has a 2.39 goals-against av­er­age and .875 save per­cent­age.

Price has a 1-1-1 record this sea­son with a 2.32 GAA and .909 save per­cent­age.

The girl­friend of Nashville Preda­tors left winger Austin Wat­son is­sued a state­ment apol­o­giz­ing for a June 16 in­ci­dent.

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