Defenseman Andrew Ference, who won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011, announced Thursday he is retiring from the NHL after 16 years.
In a statement Ference said, “As I graduate from my time of playing in the NHL, I realize I have the problem of being unable to properly thank the hundreds of people who have helped me achieve my goal of playing in the best league in the world. No one gets here on their own, especially average sized guys with average skills. If you think you deserve a thank you from me, you probably do… Thanks!”
Ference then goes on to thank his wife, daughters, and other family members before ending with this, “Lastly, thank you to Pittsburgh, Calgary, České Budějovice, Boston and Edmonton. Your love of our sport provided me with an incredible stage to play on and your cities will always feel like home to me. Hockey fans really are amazing!”
While Ference had some ups and downs as a Bruins, the impact he made on the team and the fans is undeniable. He played a tough game with a warrior type attitude and style of play, as former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli put it. He was an extremely well liked and respected leader both on the ice and in the locker room, and he was there when the team needed him the most.
One of my personal favorite Andrew Ference moments was his pre-game interview on NBC with Shawn Thornton before the Bruins first game since the tragic attacks at the 2013 Boston Marathon. He and Thorny talked about becoming Bostonians and what that meant to them, and it was honestly a special moment. I wasn’t able to find that exact video, but I was able to find this heartfelt and candid moment.
So Ference, thank you for the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. And while you may have finished your career in Canada, you’ll always be a Bostonian and a Stanley Cup champion. Congratulations on an amazing run!