Andrew Ference named captain of Edmonton Oilers


May 10, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference (21) keeps the puck away from Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski (84) during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

There will always be members of the Bruins organization we will consider a Bruin, no matter where they go in the NHL. Andrew Ference was one of those people. In his seven years as a member of the Bruins organization, he became a leader to team (rising to the position of alternate captain for the Black and Gold), a fixture in the community, and an inspiration for people who wanted to live a cleaner, greener life. It is my pleasure to announce that Andrew Ference has been named the fourteenth captain in the history of the Edmonton Oilers franchise.

Ference is one of those people that can get you to engage in an activity. I even had to chance to meet him once, and he was the kind of person that made you feel like you were the only person in the room when he had a conversation with you. He is a player that looks after his fellow players. We’ve watched him have seen him go ballistic on opposing players that were perceived to have taken liberties with another Bruin. It’s a guarantee that any player that messes with a young Oiler will have a very dangerous customer to contend with.

“Andrew is everything you look for in a captain,” Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said at today’s announcement. “You start rattling off words like, compete, honest, commitment, a guy that can communicate. Everything you talk about a leader, that’s what this young man is. The biggest thing for me, is his ability to unite this organization. He’s the most important person in this organization.

“It’s not Craig [MacTavish] and it’s not me, it’s your captain. He’s the one that has to unite your organization and unite your players. They’re all in there trying to get to a certain place, they all have a common goal, he’s got to find a way to include them all, push them in the right direction, inspire them, hold them accountable. He’s got a lot of different jobs and he’s the right guy for it.”

It had to have come as a great surprise to the hometown kid getting to play in front of old friends and family that he would be the new leader and face of the team. “It’s not something that I could have accurately guessed would of happen for myself,” Ference said today. “It’s been an incredible ride. Every year that I got closer to making it, and then finally making it to the NHL, the privilege of being in this League become more and more apparent.”

“To be able to come back to my hometown and put on the Oilers jersey, letter or not, I know how fortunate I am. It’s an ultimate honor.”

It was an honor for Bruins Nation to have you here for seven years, Captain Planet. You’ll always be a Bruin to us. Congratulations Ferry, this was a well deserved honor.