The Saturday Slate is a weekly discussion or platform where members of Win Column Sports provide their respective opinions and thoughts on an event that took place in the prior week. Additionally, there is also a running pool amongst the contributors based on our picks for Saturday’s match-ups.
Nashville Predator’s forward Austin Watson was previously arrested June 16th for domestic abuse. Watson eventually pleaded no contest in July to the charges. This, in turn, resulted in a 27-game suspension for domestic violence. However, that suspension has been recently reduced to 18 games. This reduction came as a surprise as there have been previous incident domestic abuse incidents involving NHL players and said incidents never saw a reduction or reduced consequence. This reduction will be met with plenty of backlash. Not only will NHL fan’s voice their displeasure, but special interest groups, amongst others, will also make their opinion on the matter heard.
Many are angry at Watson in this situation, and rightfully so. It goes without saying that domestic abuse of any kind should essentially render the assailant blackballed from the NHL; just look at the treatment Slava Voynov received (and rightfully so). However, my anger in this situation is directed entirely at the NHLPA. To this writer, by arguing for Watsons’ right to play the game of hockey as opposed to standing up for a victim of domestic abuse shows a complete lack of morality from the Players Association. When given the opportunity to stand up for what’s right, the NHLPA did their best impression of the NFL and chose to take the side of, frankly, a criminal. Not only should the Nashville Predators be ashamed for standing by Watson through this whole situation, but the NHL should be, too.
It’s happening in every major league in sports now; athletes making millions of dollars and throwing it down the drain by doing stupid things like possession and domestic abuse. The NHLPA should absolutely not stand by people that are convicted, even if it’s the NHLPA’s job to stand by the player. They have to figure out where to draw the line. It’s time to start cleaning up sports in North America and it might take making an example out of somebody for that to happen. We won’t get that in this situation, but I’m hoping it comes soon. I’m personally sick of seeing athletes with their whole lives ahead of them ruin it by becoming troublemakers.
If there’s one thing the NHL isn’t, it’s being consistent. From the initial report, there aren’t many differences between Watson’s case and Voynov’s case. However, the consequences are quite different which blows my mind. I, like many others, frown upon domestic abuse and deem it unacceptable under any circumstance. There’s no scenario where it can be deemed necessary. This may be an unpopular opinion but off-ice incidents that aren’t performance enhancing infractions shouldn’t be suspensions unless it carries a felony charge. By saying this I don’t condone violence, however, if it doesn’t affect the players’ performance in a way that doping and PEDs do then it shouldn’t come with a suspension unless said player is charged with a felony and must face prison time.
WinColumnSport’s Saturday Picks
|Golden Knights vs. Flyers||Flyers||Flyers||Golden Knights|
|Oilers vs. Rangers||Oilers||Oilers||Oilers|
|Kings vs. Senators||Kings||Kings||Kings|
|Hurricanes vs. Wild||Wild||Hurricanes||Hurricanes|
|Blue Jackets vs. Lightning||Lightning||Lightning||Lightning|
|Canucks vs. Panthers||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers|
|Penguins vs. Canadiens||Penguins||Penguins||Penguins|
|Maple Leafs vs. Capitals||Capitals||Maple Leafs||Capitals|
|Red Wings vs. Bruins||Bruins||Bruins||Bruins|
|Ducks vs. Stars||Stars||Stars||Stars|
|Islanders vs. Predators||Islanders||Predators||Islanders|
|Blues vs. Blackhawks||Blues||Blues||Blackhawks|
|Sabres vs. Coyotes||Coyotes||Sabres||Coyotes|
|Flames vs. Avalanche||Avalanche||Flames||Flames|
Records Thus Far:
- Spencer: (3-9), Last Week: (3-9), Winning Percentage: (25%)
- Ben: (6-6), Last Week: (6-6), Winning Percentage: (50%)
- Arik: (4-8), Last Week: (4-8), Winning Percentage: (33%)