Austin SWATson Suspended
With NHL training camps kicking off this week, Nashville's Austin Watson may be spending his time in con camp. Earlier in June, he was arrested at a gas station where witnesses saw him and his girlfriend arguing. Witnesses said they saw him "swat" his ol' lady and refused to let her leave the SUV. When police arrived, they discovered red marks across her chest and that Watson was temperamental because she was too intoxicated for a wedding. She later admitted that Austin can be a bit "handsy" at times.
Now, after pleading no contest, Austin faces a 27 game suspension which has baffled a lot of the hockey community. Especially since Nate Schmidt caught 20 games for a minuscule amount of PEDs in his system, prior to camp.
This punishment even puzzled non-members of the hockey community.
Personally, I think jersey numbers dictating the length of your punishment may be the easiest way to handle these type of situations. Because no matter what you do with these situations, there will always be people who disagree.
This suspension is the largest suspension for off-ice conduct in NHL history. That's a good start to figuring out whats fair or not fair.
Thankfully, the NHL has very little experience with handling domestic violence charges and depending what the law decides, this can go on much further than the current 27 games.
In 2014, the Russian booze bag Slava Voynov used his girlfriend as a speed bag in a far more severe case of domestic violence. The NHL threw the book at him, indefinitely suspending him, as they should have.
This Russian mutant spent 2 months incarcerated in California and has been in the KHL ever since, with no signs of returning to the show.
Opposite to Slava's situation, Watson's girlfriend does not want to press any charges, was not hospitalized or physically harmed, and plans to stick with him through this appeal process.
This raises a lot of question marks about the consistency and the severity of this situation.
If you lay your hands on a woman in any way out of anger, you are a POS and lack the morals and values that every man should posses.
I try and stay away from cliches but "pick on someone your own size" is definitely my advice to AW moving forward.
However, history shows that this approach hasn't fared well for Austin.
As for his girlfriend, I can only hope their home life is a normal one and that she isn't attempting to protect him and his career.
And the next time you want to get blasted and skip out on weddings with someone, I am definitely your guy.