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Three Stories That Highlight Maple Leafs’ Nick Robertson’s Determination

No one knows how good the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Nick Robertson might be. What we do know is that he’s determined to make it. Here’s why.

The jury’s still out about how good an NHL hockey player the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Nice Robertson is going to be. But one thing Maple Leafs’ fans will never be disappointed in is how willing this youngster is to work and how much he wants to make the Maple Leafs lineup. That’s off the charts!

In this post, I’m going to share three stories that give us all insight into the player Robertson is likely to become. They are stories about how much – from a baby, to a young boy trick-or-treating, to a young man who’s willing to sacrifice to make the team – Robertson wants to play hockey for the Maple Leafs.

Certainly, Maple Leafs’ fans are waiting to see how the organization will use him this season. However, the information I want to share suggests – at least to me – just what kind of a player they have in this highly-motivated youngster.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Fans Might Love Blue-Collar Nick Ritchie Like Zach Hyman

Story One: Robertson Was Determined to Find Red Wings’ Coach Mike Babcock

One of my favorite stories about Robertson is from a time when he was a youngster living in Detroit. Obviously, a Detroit Red Wings fans – Pavel Datsyuk was his favorite player – he learned that Red Wings’ head coach Mike Babcock lived in nearby Northville, Michigan. So Robertson made up his mind that at Halloween he would trick-or-treat at Babcock’s house.

However, he didn’t know where Babcock exactly lived. So Robertson dressed up in his Pavel Datsyuk jersey and then started to knock on doors. He predicted he hit at least a hundred of them. Roberson said that he “was running, knocking on everyone’s door. I’m like, ‘Are you Babcock?’ Then I’d run, knock on the next one: ‘Are you Babcock?’

Finally, Robertson found his prey. He noted that he thinks he asked Babcock about Datsyuk, but he can’t remember exactly. What he does remember is his own determination to find Babcock’s house; and, he did.

Story Two: Robertson Was Determined to Survive: He Was the “Miracle Baby”

About a year ago, I read a great article about Robertson written by the Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, where I learned why Robertson is called the “Miracle Baby” by his family. In the article, Johnston quotes Nick’s dad Hugh Robertson, who told him that Thanksgiving is “the most important day of the year for us. We have a whole new take on Thanksgiving. He (Nick) survived.”

In that statement, Hugh called his son Nick the family’s “miracle baby.” That’s because Nick was born on September 11, 2001, and he was three months premature. He likely should have died the day he was born, except that he was given a “do-or-die shot” to inject oxygen into his brain and lungs. Young Nick stayed in the hospital for more than two months, but was able to come home – on Thanksgiving Day.

Hence, Nick is a family “miracle” and Thanksgiving is the family’s favorite holiday. By the way, the day Robertson was born is now known simply as 9/11. It’s the same day terrorists flew planes into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center.

Story Three: Robertson Was Determined to Make the Maple Leafs after the Blue Jackets’ Loss

Interestingly, as important as Thanksgiving is to Robertson and his family as a day his entire family gathers to celebrate, because of the COVID-19 situation, when the borders were shut down and after the Maple Leafs’ loss to the Blue Jackets, Robertson stayed alone in Toronto working out by himself. That meant that he didn’t see his family from before the pandemic’s suspension of the NHL season until recently.

Robertson wanted so badly to become a part of the Maple Leafs’ roster that he chose to be “stuck” in Canada since May. He didn’t see his family for more than two years. Remember, Robertson’s still a teenager. Instead, he decided to live alone in a rented Airbnb because, after the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the postseason in August, he thought that staying in Canada would gave him the best chance to prepare for the 2020-21 season.

He wanted desperately to make the Maple Leafs’ roster; and, he had decided to do whatever it took to make that happen.

Related: Signing Petr Mrazek Represents New Maple Leafs’ Goalie Philosophy

What Happens to Robertson this Season?

Personally, I believe Robertson’s going to be a capable NHL player and will eventually make a valuable contribution to the Maple Leafs. But, I’m not certain that contribution will be this season. There’s a good chance the Maple Leafs will be cautious with Robertson this season. He might play the entire season with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies; but, we don’t know that yet.

We’ll see soon enough. The preseason is almost upon us.



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  2. DL

    August 9, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    I think that Robertson should spend a bit more time with the Marlies just to hone his skills a bit more and get a further taste of pro hockey since he’s only had a small sample size. Leafs have signed some strong competition for the left side so there is no real rush to bring him to the big club just yet. Hopefully, he can show that he can get by without sustaining any more injuries.

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