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Why Andrew Ference loves Boston

04.16.13 at 4:13 pm ET

WILMINGTON — One of the reason Boston is considered such a great sports town is because of the standard it sets. It isn’t for everyone. Star players have failed here, because it takes a certain kind of player to embrace Boston and everything that comes with it.

Andrew Ference is one of those players. Since being traded to the Bruins in 2007, he’s soaked up every bit of it. When the Bruins won the Cup, he put it in a baby stroller and walked it around the North End. Though he’s an Edmonton native, he’s really taken to being a Bostonian, so when he puts on his jersey Wednesday night and takes the ice, he won’t feel a sudden attachment to the city in wake of Monday’s bombings.

“You’re always proud. It’s not like we’re just here today all of a sudden saying, ‘We love Boston,'” Ference said. “This is a team that’s woven itself into the neighborhoods that they live in. They’ve really embraced the fact that they’re residents here. I don’t think anybody just feels like they’re here for a visit. That’s been a special part about our team, so I think that something like this obviously magnifies all the things that [make] you care about the city. You’re proud no matter what to not just be part of a sports team, but part of the community. That’s why people love it here so much.”

Ference, 34, has also played for the Penguins and Flames in his career, but he’s really made a home in Boston, like so many other Bruins. The Bruins’ roster has everything from organizational lifers (Patrice Bergeron) to former journeymen who eventually became mainstays (Shawn Thornton) and everything in between. Ference’s love for the city is obvious, as is the case with guys like Nathan Horton, and the alternate captain said there’s no shortage of reasons why.

“It’s a great community. People look you in the eye and they talk to each other. People aren’t strangers here. I think that’s why guys love playing here and living here and have fully embraced different events,” Ference said. “We’ve had tons of families that go to different things that the city offers. ‘€¦ If we [didn’t have a game scheduled] last night, the whole team probably would have been down there. It’s not like we just hole up in our houses. Guys are really part of the city. What’s not to love?”

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