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Treliving: Leafs need Robertson 'to be a good player for us'


General manager Brad Treliving said Monday that the Toronto Maple Leafs need forward Nick Robertson "to be a good player for us."

Treliving's comments came in response to being asked about the 22-year-old winger requesting a trade after being qualified as a restricted free agent Sunday.

"I have certainly known that there was some frustration with Nick, but we look at Nick as an excellent player," Treliving said. "There is great opportunity for Nick here. We need him to be a good player for us. 

"I am not going to get into any speculation or public back-and-forth. We will just leave it at that and continue to move forward."

TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston reported Robertson's trade request, adding that he had no intention to re-sign with the Maple Leafs. 

Robertson posted 14 goals and 27 points in 56 games with the Maple Leafs last season. He expressed his frustration in March after being loaned to the team's AHL affiliate and did not report to the Toronto Marlies when he was demoted.

"It's been kind of weird," he said to reporters last season. "I've just been practising on my own while the guys were on the road and just waiting for my turn, I guess."

"He's faced a lot of adversity through his time with us," said captain John Tavares, on Robertson's comments. "Obviously has dealt with some tough injuries and he just keeps coming back."

Drafted by the team with the 53rd overall pick in the 2019 draft, the American skater has appeared in 87 games for the Maple Leafs across parts of four seasons, scoring 17 goals and 34 points.