|Suspended Andrew Ference: Missing game vs. Bruins ‘a little extra kick in the butt’||11.06.14 at 2:55 pm ET|
Andrew Ference‘s second return to the Garden since signing with the Oilers in the summer of 2013 won’t be as special as his first return. Most notably, he won’t be playing.
Ference will serve the second game of a three-game suspension Thursday night as his Oilers face the Bruins. Ference’s ban came for a hit to the head of Vancouver forward Zack Kassian over the weekend.
“You never want to get suspended, but to miss a game in this town is a little extra kick in the butt,” Ference said. “It is what it is. It’s unfortunate, but I still get to see everybody and still get to make the trip. That’s important.”
The 35-year-old defenseman is in his second season as Oilers captain. He served as an alternate captain in his final two seasons in Boston and was a fan favorite for his off-ice involvement with the city. Despite not being able to play, Ference said he’s still happy to return to Boston.
“It’s awesome as ever,” he said. “I’ve got lots to do, lots of people to see. Obviously I have more time on my hands than people were expecting, but I’ve filled it all up. It’s a special place. I’ve got too many friends and not enough time to see everybody.”
Ference received a strong ovation last February when he played his first game back in Boston.
|David Krejci misses practice as Bruins prepare for Oilers||11.05.14 at 11:59 am ET|
WILMINGTON — David Krejci skated prior to Wednesday’s Bruins practice, but left the ice as the team began skating at Ristuccia Arena. Krejci has missed the last two games with a hip injury that he’s battled all season.
Claude Julien said after the skate that he didn’t know if Krejci would be available for Thursday’s game against the Oilers. Missing Thursday would provide extended rest for Krejci, as the Bruins won’t play again after Thursday until Monday when they host the Devils.
The lines in practice were the same they’ve been the last two games:
Lucic - Kelly - Griffith
Marchand - Bergeron - Smith
Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille - Campbell - Gagne
Seidenberg – Hamilton
Morrow – McQuaid
Warsofsky – Trotman
Oilers captain and former Bruin Andrew Ference will not play in Thursday’s game, as he is serving the second game of a three-game suspension for a high hit on Vancouver forward Zack Kassian.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Still beloved in Boston, Andrew Ference grateful for ‘fairytale’ parting with Bruins||02.01.14 at 12:15 pm ET|
In case you missed any of Andrew Ference‘s seven years in Boston — and especially the last one — it’s no secret that he and the city had quite the affinity for one another.
It was Ference who pushed the Stanley Cup around the city in a stroller following the team’s victory over the Canucks in 2011 and, most importantly, played a key role in making the Bruins a big part of Boston’s recovery from last April’s marathon bombings.
He didn’t want to leave Boston, but he did so on as good of terms as any athlete ever will. Peter Chiarelli told the veteran defenseman at breakup day following last season that the team would not be re-signing him due to young depth on defense and salary cap concerns. Ference took the news with no hard feelings and spent the days leading up to the first day of free agency, when he signed with his hometown Oilers, parting ways with his new home amicably.
Ference, who was named captain of the Oilers prior to the season, brought his wife and daughters with him for the trip back to Boston this weekend, as he said his family will “always have a special place in our lives for everything that happened here.”
On Friday night, Ference and the Oilers left a pair of Ference t-shirt jerseys at Sal’s Pizza by Boston Common. Two Bruins fans promptly got there and took pictures with the veteran defenseman. Not too many other players can come back like that after leaving.
“I said it when I left, too, that I realized how fortunate I am to kind of leave under those circumstances,” Ference said. “I’ve seen a lot of guys over the course of their careers that get traded at the drop of a hat. They’re packed up and gone the next day and don’t really get a chance to have a long drawn-out goodbye like I did.
“When I was told I wasn’t going to come back here, it was under the best terms with Peter and with the team. They were happy with what I did and I was happy with everything they did, which is great, and then I had the chance to see a bunch of friends and spend some time with people here. It’s special, you know? It’s been about as fairytale as it gets in the sports world from a player’s perspective of how to leave a city and go to a different city, but know that you can come back to open arms.”
|David Krejci to wear Andrew Ference’s ‘A’ for Bruins||10.01.13 at 3:45 pm ET|
Krejci gets the share of the distinction after Andrew Ference split it with Chris Kelly for the last two seasons. Ference was not brought back by the Bruins in the offseason, and he has since been named captain of the Oilers.
Originally taken by the B’s in the second round of the 2004 draft, Krejci has been the team’s first-line center for three seasons and has twice led the entire postseason in scoring. He did so in 2011 with 23 points and last postseason with 26 points.
In 424 career regular-season games, Krejci has 91 goals and 218 assists for 309 points. He is entering the second season of a three-year, $5.25 million contract.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins thrilled to see Andrew Ference named captain of Oilers||09.29.13 at 12:32 pm ET|
While the Bruins haven’t yet revealed who will wear Andrew Ference‘s ‘A’, the hockey world learned Sunday which letter the veteran defenseman will wear in Edmonton: ‘C’.
Ference, who signed a four-year, $13 million dollar with the Oilers on the first day of free agency this summer after not being brought back by the B’s, was named captain of the team on Sunday. There, the 34-year-old will a team with such young stars as Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.
The folks around TD Garden were delighted to hear the news.
“Captain?! Really?! I didn’t know that,” an animated Patrice Bergeron said upon being told. “That’s awesome! It’s well-deserved. It’s not really surprising to me, to be honest with you, but like I’ve said before, I’m going to miss him because he’s a great guy that I was really close to. I’m really happy for him and I think he’s going to do a great job.”
In his time with the Bruins, Ference’s leadership and value to the community was constantly on display. He came up with various things in to unify the team, from the ‘Darth Quaider’ t-shirt and the old nylon jacket in the 2010-11 season, to the chain the following season, to the short-lived rooster shirt last year and the Army Ranger jacket following the Boston Marathon bombing.
“I just sent him a text to congratulate him,” Claude Julien said. “I think he’s deserving. Everybody that knows him here knows what kind of a person he was and what kind of a leader he was on and off the ice.
“They’ve got a young team over there, and the minute he signed there, in the back of my mind I thought he had an opportunity to become the captain there. I think they made a great choice. He’s very deserving because of what he is and what he represents and what he does for a hockey team.”
|Andrew Ference signs four-year deal with Oilers||07.05.13 at 12:23 pm ET|
Andrew Ference is going home after making Boston a home for years.
The Edmonton native signed a four-year deal with a cap hit of $3.25 million on the first day of free agency, according to TSN. The Bruins had told Ference following the season that they would not be re-signing him due to their abundance of youth on defense and their lack of salary cap space.
The 34-year-old Ference had played for the Bruins since they traded for him in the 2006-07 season. He played a major role in their 2011 Stanley Cup championship and wore an ‘A’ for his final two years with the B’s.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins won’t sign Jaromir Jagr or Andrew Ference, hope to keep Nathan Horton||06.26.13 at 1:19 pm ET|
Breakup day often means the last day with a team for certain players, and the Bruins have a few.
Bruins general manager notified free agents Jaromir Jagr, Andrew Ference and Jay Pandolfo that they will not be re-signed by the team during Wednesday’s exit meetings. Ference and Jagr both told the media earlier that they didn’t expect to be back.
“I don’t think I will,” Jagr said. “Maybe if I would score 20 goals in the playoffs, it would be a different story. I was 20 short.”
Chiarelli told Nathan Horton that the team hopes to sign him and said that he will not be using amnesty buyouts. The Bruins’ cap situation will be very tight, even with Tuukka Rask and Horton the team’s priority free agents. Assuming they put Marc Savard on long-term injury reserve, the Bruins will have $9,180,833 to sign Rask and fill two forward spots, one of which they hope is Horton, as well as figure out backup goaltending plans. He did not rule out trading one of the team’s more substantial contracts as a means of opening up some cap space.
“We’ll find the right mix,” Chiarelli said, “but we do have some hard decisions to make, including deciding on re-signing players and deciding on retaining players.”
On other free agents, the team will take a wait-and-see approach with defenseman Wade Redden, while they have told backup goalie Anton Khudobin that they will address his situation once Rask is under contract.