It appears the Duck Era may be over.
Last week, news about the Bruins getting ready to extend qualifying offers to their restricted free agents was a little more than a blip on the radar screen of off-season activity.
After all, qualifying offers are pretty much a given for any restricted free agent you plan to bring back to the team.
Initial reports indicated that qualifying offers had been extended to Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase, and Zach Senyshyn, among others.
Sometime between last weekend today, however, plans change for the Bruins: the team announced their qualifying offers today, and Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase weren’t on the list.
For those unfamiliar with the collective bargaining agreement, restricted free agents who do not receive qualifying offers become unrestricted free agents instead.
This means that when free agency begins on Wednesday, Ritchie and Kase will be free to sign with anyone.
It’s worth noting that there’s nothing preventing the Bruins from circling back and signing either of these guys to new deals, which could potentially be for less money than they would have been due in a qualifying offer.
(It’s believed that their qualifying offers were in the $2-3 million range.)
However, this also offers the B’s the opportunity to simply walk away and create a little extra space on the books.
The team did confirm that qualifying offers have been extended to Callum Booth and Zach Senyshyn.
If this is the end of the Kase/Ritchie Era, it’s hard to call it anything but a disappointment.
Concussion troubles prevented Kase from ever really having a chance to get his feet underneath him in Boston, which is a shame, because he was an exciting acquisition at the time.
For Ritchie, he showed flashes of promise, particularly early last season, but was far too inconsistent.
The B’s also announced that the team has signed defenseman Nick Wolff to a one-year, two-way contract.