NHL takes ex­cep­tion to re­duced sus­pen­sion

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS -

The NHL is “dis­ap­pointed” about an ar­bi­tra­tor’s de­ci­sion to re­duce the sus­pen­sion of Nashville Preda­tors for­ward Austin Wat­son, who pleaded no con­test in July to a do­mes­tic as­sault charge. Wat­son re­ceived a 27-game sus­pen­sion from NHL com­mis­sioner Gary Bettman last month. The NHL and NHL Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced Thurs­day ar­bi­tra­tor Shyam Das had re­duced it to 18 games. “We firmly be­lieve 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 said. Wat­son was charged in an in­ci­dent June 16 with his girl­friend in Ten­nessee. Wat­son told po­lice he and his girl­friend were ar­gu­ing and that he pushed her. Of­fi­cers said they found red marks on her chest. Wat­son can have the mis­de­meanour charge dis­missed by ful­fill­ing terms of his di­ver­sion pro­gram.

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