The Nashville Predators announced this afternoon that forward Patric Hornqvist has been activated from injured reserve.
Hornqvist has been one of the Preds’ leading offensive threats for the last three seasons and was expected to reprise that role this year. But this latest stint on the IR was Patric Hornqvist’s second of the season. All told he has missed 18 games due to injury in 2013, more than half of the Preds’ schedule.
In Hornqvist’s absence the Predators’ offense suffered in general, but it’s the power play that missed him most. Nobody else on the team proved both willing and effective enough to make life difficult for opposing goalies quite the way the 26-year-old Swede has made a career of doing.
To make room for Patric Hornqvist on the active roster, the team reassigned defenseman Ryan Ellis to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. The 22-year-old defenseman hadn’t registered a point since February 14th. With increasing competition for ice time thanks to the strong play of Victor Bartley, plus the return of veteran blueliner Hal Gill, Ellis was an easy choice to send down.
Not only will Ellis he play more minutes against lesser competition than he did in Nashville, but he didn’t have to clear waivers to be assigned to the Ads. That’s a crucial consideration at a time when the team is overloaded with forwards like Bobby Butler, Rich Clune, and Brandon Yip who would have to be placed on waivers to move to Milwaukee. By moving Ellis instead of a forward right now, the team is buying a little bit more time before making a tough roster decision in another week or two.