Senators Reach Deal With Predators For Austin Watson

Pierre Dorion makes another depth move.

Addressing a major need on the right side of their forward lineup, the Ottawa Senators have acquired Austin Watson from the Nashville Predators, in exchange for a fourth-round pick (via the Colorado Avalanche) in 2021.

General Manager Pierre Dorion said of the newest Senator:

“Austin Watson is a big, strong winger who will bring a significant presence to our forward group,” said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. “He was among Nashville’s forward leaders in blocked shots last season, was the team’s leader in hits and is someone who is especially physical on the forecheck. We also expect him to be a valuable asset on our penalty kill.”

Watson, 28, fills a hole in the Ottawa lineup, specifically on the right wing. The Sens’ only player on that side that didn’t spend time in Belleville last year was Connor Brown, and the team will likely want to ease the likes of Drake Batherson, Rudolfs Balcers, and Vitaly Abramov into higher-end NHL minutes. Whether Colin White will make the move to right wing full time, or continue to play centre remains to be seen.

The Ann Arbor, Michigan, native has played 306 games in the NHL, all as a member of the Predators. He has 36 goals, 41 assists, and 77 points to his name. He was on the Nashville roster that made a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, scoring four goals and five assists in 22 games.

In June of 2018, Watson was arrested and charged with domestic assault, in connection to an incident where he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, Jenn Guardino, outside of a gas station. He pleaded no contest, and was sentenced to one year of probation, as well as being ordered to complete a 26-week batterer intervention course. The NHL suspended him for 27 games, but this was later reduced to 18. He was suspended again in January of 2019 for an alcohol-related relapse.

Guardino issued a statement in October 2018, taking full blame for the incident. She revealed that she had struggled with alcoholism, and claimed that Watson had never, or would never hit her.

“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.”

For more context on the incident, you can read this article by Paul Skrbina of The Tennessean.

The pick going back to the Predators was acquired when the Senators shipped Vladislav Namestnikov to the Avalanche.

Watson has three years remaining on his deal, at an AAV of %1.5M

Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.

But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).

Erik Condra
  • Ability to comment and participate in our community
  • Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
  • Ad-free reading
  • Our undying love and appreciation
Brady Tkachuk
  • Everything from the Erik Condra tier
  • 10% discount on all merch
  • Access to any future paywalled content
  • A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
Daniel Alfredsson
  • Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
  • Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team