With this week’s announcement that the Boston Bruins will not re-sign pending free-agent defenseman Andrew Ference, the Stanley Cup runners-up are down another holdover from the franchise’s resurgence campaign.
Ference’s departure, owed to financial constraints from the NHL’s upcoming salary-cap reduction, leaves Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci as the only active players who made their Boston debuts before 2007-08. In other words, they are the only ones left who lived through the Dave Lewis disaster of 2006-07 that precipitated the hiring of head coach Claude Julien and executive Cam Neely.
The Bruins acquired Ference, along with forward Chuck Kobasew, from Calgary on Feb. 10, 2007. Having stayed with the team for all of the subsequent five years plus the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, Ference was more or less with Boston for the equivalent of six seasons.
Over that span, he logged 104 points in 373 regular-season games plus a playoff log of 69 ventures, 21 points and a plus-three rating. Perhaps more tellingly, though, he sprinkled in multiple doses of intangible, immeasurable leadership and loyalty.
With all of that in mind, before his most recent employer formally turns him loose on the free-agent market next week, here is a chronological look back at his top six on-ice moments as a Black and Gold blueliner.