Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving addresses Nick Robertson’s trade request

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Hobson
20 days ago
Few players have had more ups and downs than Nick Robertson during his tenure in Toronto. Between a development arc that likely progressed too fast for the Leafs to handle, a number of long-term injuries, and inconsistent ice time, the 2019 second-round pick hasn’t necessarily had the smoothest of roads since the Leafs called his name on draft day five years ago.
While his production looks fine on paper, with 14 goals and 27 points in 56 games as a 22-year-old, the majority of his production came in spurts of ten games at a time or so, before drying up and being held off of the scoresheet. To put it simply, he was inconsistent and didn’t showcase his abilities on a consistent enough basis to justify keeping him in the lineup over players with more experience. While a good chunk of that undoubtedly has to do with former head coach Sheldon Keefe not being able to fit him into a consistent spot in the lineup, Robertson’s morale dip with the organization was publicized yesterday when it was announced that he had formally requested a trade.
In addressing the media after Day 1 of free agency, a day that saw the signings of defencemen Chris Tanev, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Jani Hakanpaa unfold along with goaltender Anthony Stolarz, Treliving spoke on Robertson’s trade request.
Depending on how you look at the quote, it seems like Robertson’s trade request isn’t something that’s sniffing the Top-3 on Treliving’s priority list. Him requesting a trade doesn’t mean that the Leafs GM has to honour that request, at least not right away, and with Tyler Bertuzzi departing the team in free agency to sign a four-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Leafs do have some open spots up front. Perhaps Treliving wants to see how Robertson can operate under a new head coach in Craig Berube before making that decision with him, or maybe he just wants to see how the rest of free agency unfolds before they get there. He also mentioned a desire to add some forwards up front, saying that while players like top prospects Easton Cowan and Fraser Minten will have a chance to crack the roster, they won’t be handed a spot.
The Leafs are expected to work out a couple more depth signings over the next couple of hours in Treliving’s words, and it’s possible those signings could materialize on Day 2, similar to last season when Bertuzzi and Max Domi signed their one-year contracts.

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