Nashville Predators' Austin Watson suspended, will undergo treatment for alcohol abuse

Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson celebrates after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Nashville Predators' Austin Watson has been suspended without pay and will undergo treatment for alcohol abuse, the National Hockey League announced Tuesday.

Watson has been placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program of the NHL and NHLPA for treatment related to "his ongoing issues with alcohol abuse." according to the NHL.

The Predators forward will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the Behavioral Health program administrators.

In a January 11 Instagram post, Watson said he is sober and voluntarily entered the NHL SABH program.

"I have dealt with anxiety, depression and Alcoholism since the age of 18. I maintained sobriety for 23 months until the middle of May, 2018 when I began drinking," Watson wrote on Instagram. "After the events on June 16th, I voluntarily entered the NHL SABH Program, and I am currently sober and committed to living a healthy lifestyle so that I can be the father, partner, teammate and person I want to be."

Watson reportedly pleaded no contest in July 2018 to a charge of domestic assault in connection to a June 2018 incident.

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