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Preds activate Hornqvist from IR, send Ellis to AHL

Mar 25, 2013, 5:09 PM EDT

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Ryan Ellis Getty Images

The Nashville Predators made a pair of moves in advance of tonight’s game against Edmonton, activating forward Patric Hornqvist off IR while sending defenseman Ryan Ellis to the minors.

Hornqvist, 26, has been out of the Preds lineup since suffering a upper-body injury against the Oilers on Mar. 8.

The former 30-goal scorer has battled through an injury-plagued season — he already missed nine games with a knee injury — yet still managed to score 3G-5A-8PTS in 14 games before getting hurt again.

As for the Ellis demotion…

At first glance, it might come as a surprise, as Ellis has appeared in all 32 games for the Preds this year, averaging over 16 minutes per game while registering 2G-4A-6PTS.

But the 11th overall pick in 2009 had struggled at times this season and, with eight defensemen on the active roster, the club felt it best for him to spent some time in the American league.

The move also gets less surprising when you consider Nashville has used the Milwaukee demotion quite frequently this year.

SB Nation’s On The Forecheck has a pretty solid rundown of how the Preds have sent several guys there by way of the conditioning assignment, which is why Craig Smith currently finds himself playing for the Admirals.

(Do note, however, that Ellis isn’t there on a conditioning assignment. He can be sent to the AHL freely because he’s still on his entry-level deal.)

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