Andrew Ference, who would have been an unrestricted free agent this offseason, has signed a three-year, $6.75 million extension. Ference is in the last season of a three-year, $4.2 million contract he signed with Calgary.
“Every year I play in this league, I more completely understand the privilege it is to be part of the NHL,” Ference said. “On top of that honor, [Peter] Chiarelli and the Jacobs family have given me the opportuntiy to stay here in a city I love and call home. My family and I are absolutely thrilled. I look forward to being the absolute best representation of the Bruins both on and off the ice and prove my worth to them.”
Ference is currently serving as the No. 5 defenseman alongside Johnny Boychuk.
“He can play in a multitude of different spots, which is why he’s attractive,” Chiarelli said. “He can play in the top four. He can play on the bottom pair. His game lends itself to different roles. He’s versatile. That’s why he’s attractive.”
The contract does not include a no-trade or no-movement clause.
“I thought they’d let him go,” said one agent upon hearing the news. “He’s only a No. 5 or 6 defenseman now. But maybe in that five-six role, they think it’s better having him than overpaying for a commodity they don’t know.”
The 31-year-old Ference has appeared in 50 games this season, scoring eight assists. Ference has been dogged by groin injuries the last two seasons. He will undergo surgery at year’s end.
“With a player of his size and the way he plays, there will be injuries, knock on wood,” Chiarelli said. “I’ve been given assurance with respect to his groin and core area that everything is repairable and everything will be fine. We’re prepared to take injuries based on the way he plays. I’m not going to lie. He’ll say the same thing. He plays hard, and that’s what happens when you play hard. We looked at that and we factored that into the equation. But we felt there were a lot of positives.”
* Vladimir Sobotka, who suffered a head injury last night, is feeling a lot better today, according to Chiarelli. Sobotka will be re-evaluated today and tomorrow. Chiarelli termed Sobotka as doubtful for tomorrow’s game against Tampa Bay. The Bruins have an extra forward in Brad Marchand, but they might call up Trent Whitfield to serve as a fourth center.