A year ago, the Detroit Tigers were a mess.
They had the second-worst record in the National League, and they were a couple years removed from a losing season.
The Tigers had struggled for years to fill key spots on the roster, and the club was looking to add a piece in the offseason to help right the ship.
That player was a 25-year-old forward named Alexei Emelin, who the Red Wings had acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Alexei Khabibov trade.
He was signed to a four-year, $24 million contract.
His first season in Detroit was a success.
He had 12 goals and 37 points in 46 games, but that was a career year for a player who hadn’t scored in over a decade.
After one season with Detroit, Emelin decided to test free agency, signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In his first season with the Lightning, Emlin led the team in goals, points, and assists, and he scored 30 goals and 40 points in his second season.
His second season with Tampa Bay was another breakout year.
He finished third in the NHL with 71 points, third with 82 goals, and fifth with 81 assists.
Emelin scored 52 goals and 80 points in 2013-14, and in 2014-15, he was third with 79 points and second with 74 assists.
But he didn’t stay healthy for all of his goals and assists.
As a player, Emelin was one of the most dominant players in the league, but he was never able to produce on a consistent basis.
Emellin was a major liability for Tampa Bay.
He didn’t score a lot of goals, was an inconsistent passer, and didn’t have the same level of defensive responsibility as some of the other top forwards on the team.
After Emelin was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he went on to become one of their most productive players.
In 2015-16, he finished fifth in the League with 76 points and led the NHL in goals with 77.
Emlin had another breakout season in 2016-17, scoring 40 goals and 41 points in 59 games.
Emels season was good enough to earn him the Calder Trophy as the league’s best player.
Emlinson scored his third career goal on Nov. 24, 2017 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
He scored his second career hat trick on Feb. 11, 2018 against the Florida Panthers.
He also had a goal in his first game back from a fractured wrist.
Emelman was an effective player, but a year after winning the Calder, he found himself a little rusty.
Emeloins season ended on Feb.-May 2018.
He played in eight games in 2017-18 before suffering a fractured right wrist in a game against the Arizona Coyotes.
He missed the rest of the season and had a torn ACL in his left knee.
Emelelins first season was a disaster.
His goal totals dropped to just eight goals and 17 points, but his points percentage dipped to a career-low .922, which was tied for his worst percentage since entering the NHL as a 20-year old in 2005-06.
Emlelin was traded in February 2018 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and his next two seasons with the Blue Jackets were much better.
Emlains points dropped to a disappointing .858 and his goals per game went up to 1.05.
In 2019-20, Emelman scored 27 goals and 54 points in 68 games, and while his point total went down to 1,089, his goals percentage went up from .917 to .965.
Emlien had a career season in 2020-21.
He recorded 31 goals and 48 points in 70 games, which were his best totals since entering a contract year in 2008-09.
Emelien recorded three goals and five assists in 25 games in 2021-22.
He averaged just 1.08 points per game for the season.
Emmelins last season was better, and Emeli was back to his All-Star form of late.
His goals per 60 minutes improved from 1.13 to 1:40, and overall, his points per 60 was up to 3.03.
Emilias final season was the best of his career, and it was even better than he had hoped.
In 2022-23, Emeliens numbers improved from .854 to 1;19, and those were his lowest points per 50 minutes since entering an NHL contract year as a 19-year older.
Emelains numbers were up from 1:07 in 2021, but there was a decline in goals per contest.
In the final four years of his contract, Emmelisi finished with a career average of 1.06 points per contest and an assist rate of 11.4%.
His goal production dropped to 3:56 per game and his assists dropped from 3.12 to 2.3 per game.
Emellis last season and his last three years were disappointing, but