Andrew Ference expects this NHL season will be his last, the Edmonton Oilers defenseman told ESPN.com on Friday.
“I think that’s it for me,” Ference told the website’s Joe McDonald. “More than likely (the Oilers) will probably buy me out this summer, and we’ll probably part ways. That’s it.”
A key member of the Boston Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup-winning team, Ference has played sparingly in this, his third season with Edmonton. The 36-year-old has appeared in just six games in 2015-16 — none since Nov. 27 — and told McDonald he’s “95 percent” sure he’ll undergo surgery this summer to repair a torn labrum in his hip.
“I would have a completely different mindset if I never won the Cup,” Ference said. “I always would have been really bitter, losing (in the 2004 Cup Final) in Calgary. When you lose, you never get over it until you actually win. It’s awful, but since we won in Boston, everything else is cream on top.”
The veteran blueliner has played 16 NHL seasons and suited up for four different teams: the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, Bruins and Oilers. His best statistical campaign came in 2005-06, when he tallied four goals and 27 assists in his final full season in Calgary. (Boston acquired him ahead of the 2007 trade deadline.)
“I’ve been blessed — 100 percent,” Ference said. “I’ve always said it takes a ton of hard work, but you need a huge boatload of good luck and good timing. I feel like I’ve had that. You think about the different kinds of trades you’ve been through and landing on certain teams where it just works.
“… You work hard and do your part, but there are so many other factors that you have no control over. It works out for some guys and don’t work out for others. I never lost sight of that, and I’m so lucky to have that stuff in my career.”
Ference played six-plus seasons for the Bruins, totaling 16 goals and 78 assists.
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference