Austin Watson suspended without pay

Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson has been suspended without pay by the NHL and has been placed in Stage Two of NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, the league announced on Tuesday.

Watson has been placed in Stage 2 of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program due to alcohol abuse. There hasn't been an incident reported - if there is one - that the suspension stems from.

In 2018, Watson was arrested for a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend, who suffers too from alcohol abuse. The League suspended him for 27-games and Watson pleaded no contest, but the punishment was later reduced to 18-games by an independent arbitrator.

However, the domestic violence was thrown way out of proportion when it was stated by his girlfriend Jenn Guardino that he didn't hit her and it was simply a verbal altercation.
 The incident that took place on June 16th, however, was not an act of domestic violence. Austin Watson has never and would never hit or abuse me. My behavior and state of intoxication led to the police being involved that day, Guardino said in a statement.
Guardino revealed that she has struggled with alcoholism for many years and expressed how grateful she if to have Watson's support throughout her treatment, while she apologized to the Nashville community.

Should the NHL find a better way to help their players suffering from mental health problems or addictions?

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