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D-man Trotz once called ‘horrible’ is back with Preds

Apr 15, 2013, 2:44 PM EST

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Mattias Ekholm Getty Images

Here’s hoping Mattias Ekholm’s third NHL contest is better than his second.

On Monday, Nashville announced it had called up Ekholm to replace injured defenseman Kevin Klein — an announcement that raised a few eyebrows around the Music City.

It was Oct. 2011 when Ekholm last played for the Preds — a 5-1 loss to Vancouver, after which his performance was described as “horrible, just horrible” by head coach Barry Trotz.

That game also prompted this all-timer from Trotz:

“You’re going to have to line up against the best in the league. If you’re scared of that, get a dog.”

As mentioned, it was just Ekholm’s second game in the NHL.

The next day, he was sent back to his Swedish league team.

The 22-year-old returned to North America this season and spent the entire year with AHL Milwaukee, where he posted solid numbers (9G-18A-27PTS).

Now it sounds like Ekholm’s long-awaited return to the NHL will happen tonight, as he’s likely to draw into the lineup for Klein.

And, in the perfect kind of irony even Alanis Morissette couldn’t miss, guess what?

The Preds are playing Vancouver.

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