When Andrew Ference left the Bruins this offseason for the Edmonton Oilers, it was bitter sweet for him. He left a city where he was not only a fan favorite on the ice, but also off the ice, oftentimes seen riding his bike to Bruins practices, games, and always getting involved in the community. But he left for his hometown Oilers, a team he grew up idolizing, and a team that is young, promising, but in need of a veteran leader. Andrew Ference is that veteran leader, and has just been appointed as the 14th captain of a team that has also seen the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier wearing the same "C". When asked how he felt about the news, Claude Julien had nothing but great things to say about the ex-Bruin:
“I just sent him a text to congratulate him, I think he’s deserving, everybody who 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 and I think they made a great choice-very deserving because of what he is and what he represents and what he does for a hockey team.”
Bruins fans chimed in with their support on Twitter and Facebook praising him for all he did in Boston. It is tough to find a classier and more caring guy than Andrew Ference. He loved to get involved in Boston, participating in countless charities geared at helping foster environmental change and also helping children in need. He also loved to meet his fellow Bostonians and was a mainstay at the free exercise group, November Project.
Good luck to Andrew Ference, you have certainly left your mark on Boston, a mark that we will not soon forget. I'll always remember the time that you got under Crosby's skin enough to get him to drop the gloves for the first time in his career.
photo via www.hockeyfights.com
The city of Edmonton may not know it yet, but it is getting one hell of a captain, and an even greater person.