On the verge of unrestricted free agency and a month away from his 34th birthday, Andrew Ference is thinking about his future.
“There’s a lot invested emotionally into this team,” the Bruins defenseman told the Boston Globe. “We’ve accomplished a lot. Beyond that, the city is obviously home for us and our family. So it weighs heavily to know where things are at.
“The team has their numbers with what their budget is. They probably have a good idea of where I’m at. It’s a matter of me waiting patiently, I guess.”
After spending the first seven years of his career in Pittsburgh and Calgary, Ference joined the Bruins in 2007 in a trade that saw he and Chuck Kobasew head to Boston in exchange for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau.
In 2010, he signed a three-year, $6.75 million extension with the B’s and proceeded to win the first and only Stanley Cup of his career.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Bruins approach Ference’s contract situation. He’s been largely a third-pairing defenseman during his time in Boston, averaging around 18-19 minutes a game while chipping in around 15-20 points per season.
If 2011-12 was any indication, Ference still has plenty in the tank. He scored a career-high six goals and finished with 24 points — third amongst all Boston defensemen.
As for the future…
The Bruins have five NHL defensemen under contract for next season with youngsters Torey Krug, Matt Bartowski and David Warsofsky on the horizon. So there certainly seems to be a spot for Ference, which means the conversation will likely come down to dollars.
So, could a hometown discount come into play? Ference says he’s been thinking about his future a lot lately, and knows one thing — he wants it to include Boston.
“I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this team,” Ference said. “The makeup and the fabric of this room – the environment.
“I’m at a point where there’s more important things in life than a couple extra bucks here or there. If you can have a good family life and live in a good city, it’s pretty tough to put a price on that.’’