Boston Bruins defenseman, Andrew Ference, had a bit of a rough start to the season after himself and his partner, Adam McQuaid, struggled out of the starting gate. Things have gotten better for the pair as of late however, as they’ve gone back to keeping things simple by just playing tough, hard-nosed defense and allowing the rest of their game to follow.
They still struggle to get their shots through in the offensive zone but neither is an offensive-defenseman and I don’t expect them to turn into one overnight. As long as they are throwing the body, blocking shots and clearing out the front of the net they are doing their jobs in my opinion. The rest is just a bonus.
For Ference in particular though, its a very important season for him as he is entering the final year of his 3-year, $6.75 million contract extension with the Bruins and with a cap hit of $2.5 million its hard to imagine he’ll still be in Boston next season. He’s essentially playing for his next contract, whether it be with the B’s or someone else.
Even with the uncertainty of his contract situation hanging over his head, Ference says he’s not allowing it to be a distraction. He recently told CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty just that, “You can only do your side of it, right?” Ference said. “My side of it is to play and to make sure they know where I’m at as far thought process. After that it’s out of my control. You want to be part of a winning organization and continue the job that you’ve been working.”
Ference went on to say, “It’s been great here, so you just want to keep it going. We’ve got a good team and a good family here. But it’s not like I’m going to cry myself to sleep if they don’t want me here. If it happens then that’s just the way it is. I just control my side of it.”
While it appears both sides would like to work out an agreement, that may not just be possible or Ference may have to take a pay cut. He’s hinted he may be able to do that but hasn’t said anything about it directly.
Also, it may end up not even being the Bruins problem. Everyone knows general manager Peter Chiarelli is always looking to improve the club and if he moved Ference he may be able to kill two birds with one stone as they say. A lot of teams could use Ference’s service and if packaged correctly he could land the B’s a pretty solid return.
I have to admit I wasn’t much of a fan of Ference’s when he first arrived in Boston. I thought he was injury prone and just flat-out overpaid. Over his career with this team however, he’s proven me wrong and I’ve come to appreciate him both on and off the ice.
On the ice he’s a veteran leader for the Bruins who brings toughness and just a solid all-around defensive game. While off the ice he’s been a leader in the locker room and in the community.
Time will tell if he remains with this team or not, for now all Ference can do is go out and play his game while letting the chips fall where they may. If he keeps playing better like he has of late, he’ll make Chiarell’s decision even tougher than it already is.