Ference with the Edmonton Oilers in 2014
March 17, 1979|
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||184 lb (83 kg; 13 st 2 lb)|
HC České Budějovice
208th overall, 1997|
Andrew James Stewart Ference (born March 17, 1979) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey defenseman. Ference started in the NHL during the 1999–2000 season and played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers. In 2011, Ference helped the Bruins to their sixth Stanley Cup championship. Ference was born in Edmonton, Alberta, but grew up in Sherwood Park, Alberta.
WHL and Pittsburgh Penguins
Ference began his hockey career in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Portland Winterhawks. After two full seasons with the team, he was selected 208th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Ference was not ranked by Central Scouting for the draft. In response, Ference sent a letter to every NHL general manager indicating his belief he would play in the NHL and also enclosed testing results conducted by the University of Alberta. Ference played two more seasons with Portland and had a brief stint in the International Hockey League (IHL) with the Kansas City Blades before joining Pittsburgh in 1999.
After making his NHL debut on October 1, 1999, in a game against the Dallas Stars, Ference scored his first NHL goal a month later against the Nashville Predators on November 13, 1999. He split his rookie season between Pittsburgh and their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, finishing with 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) in 30 NHL games and 28 points (8 goals, 20 assists) in 44 AHL games.
The next season, Ference continued to share time between both Penguins teams. Ference played in his first NHL playoffs with Pittsburgh in 2001, playing 18 games and scoring 3 goals and 10 points before the Penguins were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils. In his third NHL season, Ference established himself as a full-time NHLer, scoring 11 points in 75 games.
Calgary Flames and NHL Lockout
On February 9, 2003, in the middle of the 2002–03 season, Ference was traded to the Calgary Flames for future considerations. He posted 4 assists in 16 games during the remainder of the season with Calgary. The next season, he registered 16 points with 4 goals and 12 assists in 72 games for Calgary and also played 26 playoff games posting 3 assists. Calgary reached the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With the 2004–05 NHL season suspended due to a lock-out, Ference played in the Czech Republic for HC České Budějovice. Ference returned to the Flames when the NHL restarted the next season. He played all 82 games of the season for the first time in his career, scoring 4 goals, and 27 assists for a career high 31 points.
The following season, on February 10, 2007, he was traded, along with teammate Chuck Kobasew, to the Boston Bruins for defenceman Brad Stuart and centre Wayne Primeau. Ference scored 1 goal, along with 15 assists, during the 2008–09 NHL season. On March 23, 2010, he agreed on a three-year contract extension with the Bruins worth an annual average salary of $2.25 million.
On April 22, 2011, Ference was fined $2,500 for an obscene gesture to the crowd at the Bell Centre in Game 4 of the playoffs first round series against the Montreal Canadiens. Ference's initial comments after the incident indicated it was an "equipment malfunction," though he later confessed it had been an intentional gesture following an emotional playoff goal. Some teammates credited this incident as a turning point in their eventual Stanley Cup Victory. In the Bruins 4–3 game 7 victory over the Montreal of the same series, Ference drew much ire for a questionable collision to the head of Canadiens' Jeff Halpern, but upon a disciplinary hearing it was ruled that the hit did not warrant any sort of disciplinary action.
The next season Ference scored 6 goals, a career high, and was named alternate captain during home games for the first half of the season, and during away games for the second half of the season.
On July 5, 2013, he signed a four-year deal as a free agent with his hometown team, the Edmonton Oilers. On September 29, Ference was named the 14th captain in Oilers NHL franchise history, succeeding Shawn Horcoff, who had been traded to the Dallas Stars. On October 7, 2015, after serving as the Oilers captain for the past two seasons, it was announced that Ference had relinquished his role as captain and was named as an alternate captain, along with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. After playing in just six games of the 2015–16 NHL season, Ference was placed on IR to undergo season-ending hip surgery.
On September 16, 2016, Ference announced his retirement after 16 seasons. He however remained on the Oilers long-term injured list for the duration of the 2016–17 season, before formally ending his career at the conclusion of his contract on July 13, 2017.
Post playing career
In 2018 Ference joined the NHL as its first director of social impact, growth and fan development. His focus will be on grass-roots growth, community development efforts, engaging minority fans and players, and better facilitating relations between players and the league.
Ference's association with environmentalist David Suzuki while in Calgary led him to create a carbon-neutral program for the NHL, which now includes over 500 players who purchase carbon offset credits to counteract the negative environmental impact of professional sports.
Stanley Cup Parade
On September 5, 2011, following the Bruins Stanley Cup championship, Ference organized and led a parade and flash mob in Boston's North End, which is the area where he resided during the NHL season. After bringing the Stanley Cup to and from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on a bike trailer, Ference brought the Cup to an area of the North End outside the TD Garden. There, the Cup was hoisted up on a platform carried by friends and family, and paraded through the North End, with many stops at local shops along the way. Ference and the other Cup-carriers were accompanied by a marching band, members of The Boston Bruins Ice Girls, and the Boston Bruins mascot Blades. Hundreds of fans also joined them for the parade, which was concluded with a dancing flash mob.
Regular season and playoffs
|1994–95||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||2||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||72||9||31||40||159||7||1||3||4||12|
|1996–97||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||72||12||32||44||163||6||1||2||3||12|
|1997–98||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||72||11||57||68||142||16||2||18||20||28|
|1998–99||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||40||11||21||32||104||4||1||4||5||10|
|1998–99||Kansas City Blades||IHL||5||1||2||3||4||3||0||0||0||0|
|2004–05||HC České Budějovice||CZE||19||5||6||11||45||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||HC České Budějovice||CZE||21||2||5||7||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|World Junior Championships|
Awards and honours
|First All-Star Team (West)||1997–98|||
|Second All-Star Team (West)||1998–99|||
|Humanitarian of the Year (Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy)||1998–99|||
|AHL All-Star Game||2001|||
|Stanley Cup (Boston Bruins)||2011|||
|King Clancy Memorial Trophy||2014|||
- McGaughey, Paul. "Oilers' Andrew Ference put NHL GMs on notice with 1997 letter". cbc.ca. CBC. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "Andrew Ference fined for gesture". espn.com. April 22, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- "Andrew Ference Comes Clean About Unintentional Bird". csnne.com. June 26, 2012. Archived from the original on August 2, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- "Habs-B's: Barnaby/Melrose final thoughts – Cross Checks Blog – ESPN". Espn.go.com. April 5, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "League decides against suspension for Bruins' Ference". Tsn.ca. April 28, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "Andrew Ference Bruins make their cup run last with tattoos". bigbadblog.com. June 15, 2011. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- "Andrew Ference and Chris Kelly will share second alternate captain role". bleacherreport.com. October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- "Ference returns to roots, signs deal with Oilers". National Hockey League. July 5, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- "Ference named captain". NHL.com.
- "PRESS RELEASE: Oilers name alternate captains for 2015-16 season". NHL.com.
- "Former Boston Bruins Andrew Ference Calls It A Career". Causeway Crowd. September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- "Andrew Ference announces retirement". National Hockey League Players' Association. July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- Wyshynski, Greg (March 26, 2018). "Andrew Ference says NHL must reach beyond 'middle-aged white dudes'". ESPN. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- "CANOE – SLAM! Sports: l CFL Calgary – Baby steps for Stamps". Slam.canoe.ca. July 4, 2005. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara Welcomes Daughter Elliz Victoria – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies - People.com". Celebritybabies.people.com. April 28, 2009. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- Shinzawa, Fluto (April 30, 2009). "Renaissance Bruin – The Boston Globe". Boston.com. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- Wertheim, Jon (September 9, 2008). "Jon Wertheim: More athletes taking political stands – 09.09.08 – SI Vault". Vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "Beyond the Puck". National Geographic Web Series. National Geographic. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "Andrew Ference brings Cup to Spaulding Hospital". Boston.com. September 5, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- "Andrew Ference parades the Stanley Cup through the North End". myfoxboston.com. September 5, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "BlackBerry: Bruins "Coat" Feature Video – NHL VideoCenter – Boston Bruins". Video.bruins.nhl.com. March 5, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "Andrew Ference Awarded 2014 King Clancy Memorial Trophy". oilers.nhl.com. edmontonoilers.com staff. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "The Hockey News". The Hockey News.
- "Canadian All-Stars 11, Planet USA All-Stars 10". American Hockey League. January 15, 2001. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "Ference returns to roots, signs deal with Oilers". NHL.com.
- "Oilers' Ference wins King Clancy Memorial Trophy". NHL.com.
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
| Winner of the WHL Humanitarian of the Year Award
| King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner
| Edmonton Oilers captain