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Report: Boston Bruins Extend Qualifying Offers to Six Players

(Boston, MA, 11/24/17) Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk #48 gets congratulations on his goal from teammates Jake DeBrusk #74 and Peter Cehlarik #22 in second period of their game at the TD Garden. Friday, November 24, 2017. Staff photo by John Wilcox.
By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

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.

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

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 As well, be sure to take a look at the recent pieces regarding Boston’s four draft selections in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.


  1. UncleRay

    Glad to see this list. Let’s hope we see Senyshyn and Zboril on the big club this year. Have to let them play eventually right?

    • Mark Allred Jr

      I wholeheartedly agree Uncle Ray!

  2. Fino Caraco

    I am a lifelong Bruins fan born in 1965. This team has been my favorite Boston team all my life. The 2011 Stanley Cup victory was for me the sweetest most enjoyable Championship out of the very many that Boston sports teams have won. That all being said I think I am done with the Bruins until there is a change in GM. Once again Don Sweeney pulls off a MASSIVE reach with the teams first pick in the draft this year. Fans like me know the horrific drafts Sweeney has managed since 2015. To select the 132nd ranked player with the 58th overall pick is inexcusable. How about taking the highest possible rated forward? This kid will never be worth his draft position. Just like Zboril, Senyshyn, Fredrick all taken with early picks that will never make contributions up to where they were drafted. In 2015 there was basically a once in a lifetime opportunity to draft THREE all-star caliber players and Sweeney whiffed completely (DeBrusk is an average inconsistent 3rd liner). The Coyle trade was a huge win. His re-signing of several key players keeping the team salary structure intact is excellent. Overall though between his draft and free agent failures he has proven incapable of being a complete GM. Time to bring in someone else.

    • Fino Caraco

      The secondary scoring issue for this team has not been addressed for 5 years since the disaster of a first round in 2015. When you look at the players that were passed over… Barzal, Connor, Aho, Chabot just to name four right off the top of my head. Sweeney could have turned the Bruins into a potential dynasty overnight! Instead what we have is no doubt a very good team with an excellent coach but ultimately we have wasted the last several good years of Chara, Bergeron and especially Krejci’s career. Good but not good enough doesn’t get it done in this town.

  3. Josh

    Qualifying offers relate to RFA not UFA and Brett Ritchie is a UFA.

    • Mark Allred Jr

      Per Cap Friendly, Brett Ritchie was an RFA and did not receive a qualifying offer making him a UFA and able to sign with anyone.

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