Austin Watson has been one of the NHL's bright young stars since he entered the league. But a domestic violence report and arrest last summer soured his image and his outlook on the season. He was suspended for the first 27 games of the year, and entered into an alcohol treatment facility.
Earlier today, the day before his 27th birthday, Watson took to Instagram and opened up about his struggle with alcohol addiction and mental illness and recounted the night of the incident with his girlfriend Jennifer.
In the post, Watson says:
I did not cause marks on her chest or blood on her leg. I did handle matters that day poorly and did not uphold the standards of an employee of the Nashville Predators or National Hockey League.
Earlier in the post, he outlines the events that led up to the arrest:
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. 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.
No matter what, we wish Austin and Jennifer the best in their relationship and hope both of them get the help they need going forward!