Maple Leafs RFA Nick Robertson Linked to Recent Cup Champs

When the recent news broke that Toronto Maple Leafs restricted free agent forward Nick Robertson was unhappy with the team and wanted a trade out of town, plenty of potential destinations began to surface. 

The latest is an intriguing one that could give Robertson a real chance to shine for the first time in his injury-plagued NHL career. According to Adam Proteau of The Hockey News, the Vegas Golden Knights are a realistic landing spot for the 22-year-old with the hot shot. 

Landing Robertson would give Vegas a boost in their middle-six group of forwards. The Leafs would be satisfied with one of the Golden Knights’ second-rounders (they have all three second-rounders in the next three drafts), and Robertson would be much closer to home than he is in Toronto. 

The Pasadena, California native would love to get a new start like that, but whether the Leafs would be "satisfied", as Proteau put it, with a second-rounder—or whether they want to deal Robertson at all—is in question.

To this point, the Leafs are not looking at trades for the disgruntled forward and are intending to placate Robertson and convince him that he has a big role in the future with the team. 

“We look at Nick as an excellent player,” GM Brad Treliving said when the rumors first emerged. “And there’s great opportunity for Nick here. We need him to be a good player for us."

Robertson has shown to be a capable sniper in his limited time with the big club, and this past season, in his biggest run yet in Toronto, potted 14 goals in 56 games while playing only 11:23 per game with a 14.6% shooting percentage. 

Unfortunately, perennial injury problems have slowed Robertson's development in addition to frequent time spent in the AHL.

As for the Golden Knights, they are currently over the salary cap ceiling, but as Proteau notes, "that hasn’t stopped proactive GM Kelly McCrimmon from making major moves before."

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