By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Nick Ritchie will be hitting free agency.

Despite Don Sweeney saying last week that the Bruins planned on issuing qualifying offers to their restricted free agents, plans have changed. The Bruins announced that they won’t be making that qualifying offer to Ritchie, thus setting him up for unrestricted free agency.

READ MORE: Hurley's Picks: Tom Brady Winning In L.A., Jaguars Growing More Embarrassing, Cowboys Dodging Football Karma

The Bruins left Ritchie exposed in the expansion draft last week, though the Seattle Kraken opted to select defenseman Jeremy Lauzon from Boston.

READ MORE: 20 Years Ago: Tom Brady Replaced An Injured Drew Bledsoe, Changing The Patriots Franchise Forever

The 25-year-old Ritchie is coming off a season with a career-high 15 goals (in 56 games) with 11 assists. The 6-foot-2, 232-pound winger was acquired from Anaheim before the 2020 trade deadline, in exchange for Danton Heinen. In 63 regular-season games with Boston, he has 16 goals and 12 assists. In 19 playoff games, he has two goals and three assists.

The Bruins also announced that they did not extend an RFA qualifying offer to Ondrej Kase. The 25-year-old was acquired by Boston in exchange for a first-round pick (and David Backes’ contract) in 2020. He played in just nine games for Boston, with no goals and one assist. He missed the bulk of the 2021 season due to a concussion suffered in the opening days of the season.

MORE NEWS: Red Sox Beat Mets, 12-5, Win 7th In A Row With Yellow Jerseys

The Bruins also did not extend a qualifying offer to Robert Lantosi. The team did make qualifying offers to Zach Senyshyn and Callum Booth. The team also signed defenseman Nick Wolff to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000.

CBSBoston.com Staff