With the official start of the free agency period in less than two days, the Boston Bruins had some choices to make regarding their number of restricted free agents. Today, teams across the NHL had until 5:00 pm EST to announce the RFAs they will extend a qualifying offer to. Failure to place a qualifying offer on a pending RFA means that the player becomes a UFA on Friday and will be available to the open market.
As per Matt Porter of the Boston Globe, here are the players that the Boston Bruins have extended qualifying offers to as well as the ones that will become UFAs on October 9th.
Via email, Don Sweeney confirmed that the Bruins qualified these RFAs:— Matt Porter (@mattyports) October 8, 2020
and did not qualify:
– B. Ritchie
– B. Gaunce
For forward Jake DeBrusk, defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, forward Karson Kuhlman, forward Zach Senyshyn, and defenseman Jakub Zboril – it is no surprise the Bruins plan on holding onto their rights as RFAs. Forward Peter Cehlarik was on the fence for me considering his comments earlier this year regarding Head Coach Bruce Cassidy saying,
“I can’t cross the line to persuade Bruins [coach] Bruce Cassidy for good. Sometimes I felt as if he was just waiting for my mistake to send me back to the farm. They know what they are doing. They’ve invested years of development in me. It’s all about trust from a coach I don’t get. I still hear that I’m ready for the NHL, I have it, but when it goes like this, I need a change and a new start. It is high time.” – Quote taken from Fansided.com.
However, Cehlarik can be a depth player for the Bruins if they come to a contract agreement as Joakim Nordstrom is unlikely to return to the team next year. Also, as fellow BNG writer, Tim Richardson (@TimARichardson on Twitter) brought to my attention, Cehlarik’s rights could be thrown into a potential trade in the future to add some extra value on the market.
Brett Ritchie, Wiley Sherman, and Brendan Gaunce aren’t surprising candidates to not receive a qualifying offer, though. Ritchie had only six points in 27 NHL games as well as four points in 12 AHL games for the Providence Bruins this past year. Sherman played in 20 games for the P-Bruins, scoring six points, and Brendan Gaunce who while he scored 37 points in 52 AHL games in 2019-20, the Bruins likely felt it wasn’t worth holding onto his RFA rights.
It does not seem like General Manager Don Sweeney is in a massive rush to re-sign his RFAs, especially the more high-profile ones such as DeBrusk and Grzelcyk, but the qualifying offers are just confirming previous thoughts of keeping their rights until those extensions can be agreed upon.
For all the latest Boston Bruins trade rumours, free agent signings, contract extensions, trades, and any other breaking news, make sure to stay locked on blackngoldhockey.com. As well, be sure to take a look at the recent pieces regarding Boston’s four draft selections in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.