FILE - In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson waits for play to resume during the team's NHL hockey playoff game against the Colorado Avalanche in Nashville, Tenn.Watson's 27-game suspension for domestic abuse has been reduced to 18 games by an arbitrator. The NHL and the NHL Players' Association announced arbitrator Shyam Das' decision Thursday, Oct. 11. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NHL criticizes reduction of suspension for Predators' Watson

October 12, 2018 - 1:18 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL is criticizing 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 that arbitrator Shyam Das had reduced it to 18 games .

The NHL issued a statement Friday saying that "we are disappointed with the Arbitrator's decision."

Watson was charged in an incident June 16 with his girlfriend 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

Watson can have the misdemeanor charge dismissed by fulfilling terms of his diversion program.

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