It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it sounds very, very unlikely Andrew Ference will play for the Bruins. It’s actually all but a certainty he’ll play somewhere else next year.
Ference, an unrestricted free agent this summer, acknowledged Wednesday at the team’s break-up day that he probably won’t be back. The 34-year-old defenseman will likely seek employment elsewhere as the Bruins will have more pressing issues this offseason.
With the salary cap going down, general manager Peter Chiarelli will need to save money in efforts to re-sign goalie Tuukka Rask and perhaps winger Nathan Horton. Ference carried a $2.25 million salary cap hit for the 2013 season.
“With the new [collective bargaining agreement], [Chiarelli] is restricted,” Ference said, according to the team’s Twitter feed. “Wish it wasn’t so.”
Ference was traded to the Bruins in February 2007 from Calgary. He eventually signed a three-year contract extension that ran out upon the conclusion of this season. Ference embraced his role within the community and became a popular — and effective — player for much of his tenure. [tweet https://twitter.com/NHLBruins/status/349899899615186944 align=’center’]