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Boston Bruins defensemen Andrew Ference has played his last game in a spoked-B sweater.

On Wednesday during exit-interviews for the season, Ference revealed that he and GM Peter Chiarelli discussed his pending free agency and how resigning with the Bruins was not an option.

 
 

"With the current cap, Peter (Chiarelli) won't be able to keep me. You know, he's gotta resign Tuukka (Rask) and obviously do his side of the business, so unfortunately with the new CBA...wish it wasn't so, but that's the way it is." 

The decision to not resign Ference comes from the fact that the salary cap number will drop to $64.3 million, a drop of nearly $5 million from the shortened season just played. Coupled with the emergence of the three young kids on the blue line who more than likely will earn a spot on the roster come October, the choice, although not easy, falls under the category of 'stricly business.'

Put me in the camp that will severely miss Ference playing in black-and-gold. For years, he has been one of most stand up and professional members on this Bruins team. He was awarded a share of the assistant captaincy with Chris Kelly starting in the 2011 season. He always elevated his game when it mattered, which is the true mark of a champion.

And now, here are Ference's top 5 moments (in no particular order) during his seven-year Bruins career.

Defending Milan Lucic




Ference instantly engages Freddy Meyer after his high hit on Milan Lucic. Exactly what you want in a teammate: no hesitation, no doubt about it, you hit one of our players high, you're going down. This game was one of the turning points of the 2011 championship season. The B's had lost 4 of 5 games, the most recent one a 3-0 shutout at home versus the Anaheim Ducks. With rumors swirling that coach Claude Julien could be fired if the team didn't turn their game around, the B's whooped the Thrashers 4-1, and showcased their heart and tenacity that so defined the 2011 team.

Flipping off the Canadians 




I don't know what the best part of this clip is: Ference's goal, the middle-finger right in the faces of the howling Canadian's fans, or the CBC broadcaster getting his panties in a bunch and suggesting that Ference "better get ready to open up his wallet."

Or, is it the fact that at first, Ference denied "intentionally" flipping the bird, only to admit a year later that it was on purpose. I'm all for whatever pisses off the Montreal fanbase.

First goal of Game 3 gets the ball rolling




After Nathan Horton was blindsided by Aaron Rome in the first period of Game 3, the Garden crowd and Bruins players watched in shock and disgust as he was carted off the ice. The B's were granted a five minute powerplay, and I'm sure you remember, that was right in the prime of their horrendous PP form. They went into the dressing room still knotted at 0-0.

Then, just 10 seconds into the 2nd, Ference let loose a bomb from the point that found its way over Roberto Luongo's shoulder. That goal released all the pent up tension and frustartion that had festered in the Garden from the previous 20 minutes. The B's won the game 8-1, and it was the just the beginning of the Bruins' domiance of the Canucks on Garden Ice.

Fighting Crosby 



Golden Boy Sidney Crosby's first fight in the NHL was to, you guessed it, Andy Ference. It was a pretty good bought, both got some good punches in but Crosby, as is usual when he fights, goes for the jersey tug over the head rather than throwing punches. Nevertheless, it's in my Top 10 moments from this current period of the Bruins Renaissance. Seeing Crosby eat some knuckles...hell yeah.

The Starter Jacket 

[Photo via Fluto Shinzawa]
Ah, the Starter Jacket. A hideous, yet so approraite piece of Bruins playoff lore. As the legend goes, Ference purchased the jacket off eBay for $35 and introduced it to the Bruins locker room as a 'game ball' kind of honor to be handed out to players after each playoff game. After the Horton incident in Game 3 of the Final, the Bruins players left the jacket hanging
in his stall and dedicated the rest of the series to him. In the previous two playoff runs, Ference introduced the rooster shirt in 2012 and the Army Rangers jacket this year.

That is something that fans will remeber as a side-note to these years for the Bruins. It became ritual after each Bruins win to wait impatiently asking your buddies "Who got the jacket?!"

Very similar to Nathan Horton pouring the Garden Water on the Vancouver ice before Game 7, it simply enhances the memories of what a great run that team produced.


So there are my top 5 moments in Ference's Bruins career. Feel free to post in the comments if you have your own favorites.


Best of luck to Andrew Ference in his future NHL endeavors. And be sure to give him a standing ovation the first time he comes back home to the Garden!

Getty Images


Mark Burke 6/26/2013 10:08:00 PM Edit

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