Ference Set to Test Free Agency

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four

After spending seven seasons with the Black and Gold, veteran blue-liner, Andrew Ference will be moving on. His contract with the Bruins is now up and the 34-year-old will be forced to continue his career elsewhere.

Peter Chiarelli met with Ference on Wednesday to inform him that the Bruins would be heading in another direction. Claude Julien also met one-on-one with him. Ference is set to become a free agent.

“I spoke with him, and told him that we wouldn’t be re-signing him and we kind of rehashed our history with the Bruins. If you can recall, we brought him in my first year. He’s been part of this, what we’ve built here,” said Chiarelli.

Ference notched 16 goals, tallied 80 assists, and played fundamentally sound defense, all while helping Boston earn a Cup victory in 2011. He was named alternate captain prior to last season and served as a fearless leader throughout his tenure with the Bruins. Ference epitomized the meaning of the term “team player.”

“He’s been through seven years, basically, and you can’t say enough about his leadership and what he’s brought to our organization. It was a tough conversation to have,” said Claude Julien.

Re-upping with Ference would be nearly impossible, given the salary cap restraints under the new collective bargaining agreement and the fact that Boston has placed priority on re-signing other key players.

Ference will likely be looking for a multi-year deal worth about $3 million per.

Though this unsettling news comes as no shock to him. When the Bruins neglected to engage in contract talks at the beginning of this past season, Ference put two and two together, assuming he would not be back.

“I’m incredibly proud. If you fully invest yourself into the team and your job, you’re going to feel the losses harder,” Ference said. “But you’re also going to feel the victories even more strongly, and be more proud of them. I came into the city as an individual in the room that was fully invested, and so lucky to be able to play under Claude for all those years and with a couple of the other guys that have been here to see it develop and grow.”

The Bruins are extremely disappointed to have to part ways with Ference, but at the end of the day, both sides separate on good terms. Ference will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to any NHL club.

Looking ahead to 2013-2014, Torey Krugg, Matt Bartkowski, and Dougie Hamilton all project to be logical replacements for the hole Ference leaves along the Boston back end.

Frank O’Laughlin – Senior NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports Network




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