September 13, 2018 / 1:01 AM / 2 months ago

NHL notebook: Preds' Watson suspended 27 games

Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson received a 27-game suspension without pay from the NHL on Wednesday after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor domestic assault charge in July.

Apr 15, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson (51) is checked by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Nashville won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The charge involved an incident that occurred in June with Watson’s girlfriend. The prosecutor said the woman had asked for a dismissal of the case, but prosecutors proceeded because there were witnesses.

Watson’s suspension will also cover the preseason. He can rejoin the Predators for their Dec. 3 game against Buffalo.

Watson, 26, was arrested June 16 by police in Franklin, Tenn. Police said he assaulted his girlfriend, who gave birth to their child in April, at a gas station. Police said the two argued and he admitted to pushing the woman.

—The Columbus Blue Jackets and John Tortorella have agreed to a two-year extension that puts the coach under contract through the 2020-21 season.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Columbus opens training camp on Thursday.

Tortorella, 60, is the franchise’s all-time wins leader with a record of 129-87-23 (.588 points percentage) in 239 games since taking over as the Blue Jackets’ head coach on Oct. 21, 2015. He led the team to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his first two full seasons behind the bench and was named the NHL Coach of the Year after the 2016-17 season.

—St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen will miss the opening of training camp Friday because of back spasms, general manager Doug Armstrong announced.

Armstrong said Allen will be sidelined at least 10 to 14 days. Preseason games run through Sept. 30, and St. Louis opens the regular season on Oct. 4 against Winnipeg.

The Blues also announced they re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Jordan Schmaltz to a two-year, $1.4 million deal.

—Field Level Media

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