Watson began his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens (with whom he won one Stanley Cup), and has also played with the Detroit Red Wings, Oakland Seals, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, and Washington Capitals. He finished his playing career with the Cincinnati Stingers of the World Hockey Association. After a very brief coaching career with the Edmonton Oilers, his association with hockey ended.
In 878 NHL games, Watson scored 17 goals, had 135 assists, and amassed 2,212 penalty minutes. His aggressive playing earned him the nickname "Bugsy".