Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson


Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in no rush to move disgruntled forward Nicholas Robertson but they might find a trade partner in the Calgary Flames to part ways with him.

According to Julian McKenzie of The Athletic the Flames are “a team to watch on the trade market.” McKenzie listed 11 potential trade targets for the Flames that fit the “young player” model, including the Maple Leafs winger.

The Calgary Flames would love to add a player within the age range of 18-23. So, we put together a list of targets.

Most of them might be attainable through trade. Some through offer sheets…including one option that would up the BoA stakes…

“I’d argue Robertson is at least worth a look,” McKenzie wrote on July 4. “Whether or not the Flames act on it is a different story.”

The Leafs extended a qualifying offer to Robertson on July 1, effectively making him a restricted free agent with his three-year, $2.39 million entry-level contract expiring at the start of the month.

Robertson, however, had informed the Leafs he didn’t plan to sign an extension ahead of free agency. That led to McKenzie listing him as a potential trade target for the Flames.

“The Toronto Maple Leafs may not be pressured to move Robertson, but he certainly would rather continue his NHL career elsewhere. He has some pace and scoring ability, which would certainly be welcomed for the Flames. Robertson, ultimately, just wants another opportunity where he can play more consistent minutes.

“In theory, there could be an opening alongside Mikael Backlund and Blake Coleman but it may depend on where a few other pieces fit themselves. He’d be more of a middle-six option than anything else, but it could still bring more consistency than his Toronto tenure,” McKenzie wrote.

Nick Robertson Wants Out of Toronto

According to TSN’s Chris Johnston, restricted free-agent forward Robertson informed the Maple Leafs he won’t re-sign with the franchise.

Sources say that RFA Nick Robertson has no plans to re-sign with the #leafs this summer and has informed the team that he would like to be traded.

“Sources say that RFA Nick Robertson has no plans to re-sign with the #leafs this summer and has informed the team that he would like to be traded,” Johnston reported on June 30.

Robertson asked Toronto to trade his negotiating rights ahead of free agency, but the Maple Leafs decided to extend him a qualifying offer instead, leaving his future in limbo.

The Maple Leafs drafted Robertson with the No. 53 pick in the 2019 NHL draft and he’s appeared in 87 regular-season games and 10 postseason outings with the franchise. Through the 2023-24 season, Robertson has scored 35 total points combining regular- and post-season games.

Robertson, who will turn 23 years old in September, is coming off his best season with Toronto. He played 56 games scoring 14 goals and assisting 13 for 27 total points with a plus-4 plus/minus.

Nick Robertson has scored in 4 out of 5 games after returning from being a healthy scratch.
Added Bonus: In his season debut, he had an assist after being assigned to the Marlies out of camp.

Speaking to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox at the end of the 2024 regular season, Robertson already teased his potential exit from Toronto.

“No. Nothing major,” Robertson said when asked about contract-extension talks by Fox on April 11. “It’s my first [negotiation]. I can’t say I’m worried about it now; I don’t even know how this process works. But I haven’t heard anything. I just play. It’s kind of nice knowing that [my agent will deal with it], though. I want to play and let him worry about that.”

Will Toronto Give Up & Trade Robertson?

Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving was asked about Robertson’s reported trade request in a video call on July 1.

“I obviously have known that there was some frustration with Nick on his behalf,” Treliving said. “We look at Nick as an excellent player and there’s a great opportunity for Nick here and we need him to be a good player for us.

“I’m not going to get into any speculation or any public back and forth. We’ll just leave it a that and continue to move forward.”

While Treliving didn’t acknowledge a trade request is in place, he acknowledged “there was some frustration” with Robertson.

However, Treliving didn’t sound convinced about moving on from the young forward any time soon. Either there is still trust in his talent, or the GM was simply trying to not lower the value and perception of Robertson in the eyes of potential trade suitors.

By extending the qualifying option, the Maple Leafs guaranteed themselves the right to match any contract offer submitted to Robertson by another franchise.

Given Robertson’s familiarity with the team, and the other way around, it’d be reasonable for Toronto’s brass to try and reach an agreement for an extension if head coach Craig Berube can offer him more playing time and a bigger role.

It’s also worth noting that Toronto lost free agent Tyler Bertuzzi to the Chicago Blackhawks on July 1. That opened a hole in the lineup that Robertson could fill if he re-signs.

Moreover, if the Maple Leafs convince Mitch Marner to waive his No-Move Clause, there could be even larger opportunities for Robertson in Toronto.

Antonio Losada covers the NHL for A veteran sports writer based in Spain, Antonio has covered the NBA, NFL and soccer for over 10 years, with bylines at SB Nation, FanSided, Yahoo Sports, FanGraphs, RotoBaller and more. He has also been nominated for multiple FSWA awards, including Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year. More about Antonio Losada

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