Boston Bruins Have Several Restricted Free Agents Remaining; Who Stays? Who Goes?

Photo: John Gramlich | Inside The Rink

The focus for the Boston Bruins this offseason has been their 14 unrestricted free agents, led by forward Jake DeBrusk, and the status of goaltender Linus Ullmark, who has recently been linked to the Ottawa Senators as a potential destination with one year left on his contract. Another group of seven players are restricted free agents with rights owned by Boston with an option to extend qualifying offers with small raises to avoid unrestricted free agency on July 1. That list includes goaltender Jeremy Swayman, who seems to be a sure thing to sign a long-term deal with the Bruins. General Manager Don Sweeney still has decisions to make on the other seven players.

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After Sunday’s re-signing of AHL defenseman Ian Mitchell to a one-year, two-way $775,000 contract, the remaining restricted free agents include: NHL forward Jesper Boqvist, goaltender Brandon Bussi, AHL forwards Joey Abate, Marc McLaughlin, and Curtis Hall, and defensemen Alec Regula, and Michael Callahan. Who does Sweeney decide to retain as the 2024-25 roster for Boston and Providence takes shape? Here is a look at what Bruins fans might expect.

Which RFA’s Do the Bruins Re-Sign?

Bussi is most likely at the forefront to re-sign as the former Western Michigan University star appears to be the candidate to back up Swayman if and when Ullmark is traded this offseason. Bussi has been a solid netminder in Providence over the last two seasons. During the 2023-24 season, Bussi compiled a 23-10-5 record with a 2.67 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. The 25-year-old’s numbers were down slightly from the previous year, but there is still a lot of upside to the 6-foot-4, 230-pound goalie’s game.

Boqvist possesses speed and forechecking ability that make him a player who might be of interest to Boston for fourth-line duties. The left-shot center scored six goals with eight assists in 47 NHL games after signing a one-year deal last offseason. The cost for Boqvist should be around the same, with maybe a slight raise. With Pat Maroon, James Van Riemsdyk, and Oskar Steen not returning and Jakub Lauko in trade talks, re-signing Boqvist might be a good, low-cost decision.

Regula was a third-round draft pick by the Detroit Red Wings in 2018, who was acquired by the Mitchell in a trade for Nick Foligno and Taylor Hall. The 23-year-old has played 22 NHL games and could be retained with some potential to be a depth defenseman. At his age, look for Regula to remain in the Boston organization for another year.

Callahan was acquired by Boston in 2022 for a seventh-round draft pick from the Arizona Coyotes. In two seasons, the Massachusetts native scored four goals with 17 assists last season with Providence and played heavy minutes. The 24-year-old projects to be a seventh defenseman in the NHL, and Boston should want to continue his development.

Who Does Not Return?

McLaughlin is an interesting case. The Billerica, Massachusetts native burst onto the scene after signing with the Bruins after his senior year at Boston College. McLaughlin has four goals in just 14 NHL games. But last season was a step back for the 6-foot, 205-pound forward who had just six goals and eight assists with a minus-7 in 68 games in the AHL. McLaughlin turns 25 in July, and it might be time to find a change of scenery and see if he can hook on with a team that has some space for growth.

Hall and Abate are unlikely to return. Hall was a fourth-round pick in 2018 who is probably at the end of his chances with Boston. The 6-foot-3, 212-pound forward was loaned to the Grand Rapids Griffins on loan for 11 games last season and also split time between the Providence Bruins and the ECHL’s Maine Mariners. With Maine, Hall was a key contributor with 11 goals and nine assists in 22 games but consistency has been an issue at higher levels. Abate is a 25-year-old forward who has six goals over 88 AHL games with Providence. The 6-foot-2, 187-pound left wing will probably not be re-signed by the Bruins.

The Bruins have until July 1 to make some of these decisions and it is probable that many could remain in the fold.

Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline Bruins Benders Podcast

Matty and Smitty from the Bruins Benders Podcast cover the HOTTEST topics in the Boston Bruins market, along with… – Bruins Dev Camp Updates- Zadorov Comments & Number- Jeremy Swayman Arbitration- Brandon Carlo Trade Rumors& Much More!For more from us, visit: Bruins Trade Rumors, Boston Bruins News, Boston Bruins, 2024 NHL Free Agency, Elias Lindholm, Nikita Zadorov, Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Derek Forbort, Jeremy Swayman, Vancouver Canucks, Restricted Free Agent, Max Jones, Riley Tufte, Brandon Carlo, Matt RempeThank you for tuning in, we appreciate your support. If you'd like to support the show, please head over to our merch shop and grab some Bruins Benders merch with our new logo!Not interested in throwing money at another podcast? NO PROBLEMHit the subscribe button, like and follow us on social media, and leave a comment of your thoughts! IT IS FREE to interact with our show and it helps other people find us! And beginning in July, ITR is giving away an NHL Jersey of your choice from Fanatics. All you have to do to win is be a subscriber. DraftKings Sportsbook – Boston’s hometown Sportsbook is LIVE right here in Massachusetts! Bet local on all your favorite sports from the comfort of your own home with DraftKings. To celebrate, ALL new customers will receive up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets when you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook using code ITR! You can now bet local on money lines, spreads, props, and more with one of America’s top-rated Sportsbooks – DraftKings Sportsbook!  Download the DraftKings Sportsbook app and sign up with code ITR to get up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets to use now that mobile sports betting is live in Massachusetts. That’s code ITR only at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 800 327-5050 or visit to speak with a trained specialist, free and confidentially, twenty four seven. 21+. Physically present in MA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. Opt in required. Bonus issued aree bets. Terms at
  1. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  2. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  3. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
  4. Season 3. Episode 45. After the Hugs Are Gone
  5. Season 3. Episode 44. Yay Or Nay

One thought on “Boston Bruins Have Several Restricted Free Agents Remaining; Who Stays? Who Goes?”

  1. Give Hall one more chance in Providence to prove he’s got some skill. He can score. He just needs to prove it at the AHL level. Give him a one-year deal to show that he can contribute on a regular basis in Providence. In turn, Providence needs to give him consistent ice time and not yank him in and out of the lineup. He’s a third line player…maybe second line if he produces.

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