Free agent Ference won’t be back with the Bruins
With their run to the Stanley Cup Final now in the hockey history books, the Bruins are making over their roster to deal with the NHL’s decreased salary cap for the 2013-14 season.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien will be conducting exit interviews with all of the players at TD Garden on Wednesday morning as they pack up their bags for the last time before a two-month summer break.
Some players will be getting plaudits for the honorable way they acquitted themselves in a highly successful season that came up just short of the pinnacle. Some will be handed an improvement plan for the offseason. Some will be thanked for their outstanding service and told that their days with the Bruins have come to an end.
Through no fault of his own, other than being a higher-priced veteran when the Bruins are flush with young defensemen, the Bruins will be parting ways with alternate captain Andrew Ference.
The 34-year-old defenseman has been with the Bruins for the last seven seasons, and was one of the key veteran leaders that helped build the championship-level team currently residing in Boston.
He finished with four goals and 13 points along with a plus-9 while averaging 19:29 of ice time in 48 games with the Bruins this season, but he suffered through bouts of inconsistency after returning from a lockout stint in the Czech Republic. Part of Ference’s inconsistency was undoubtedly hinged to the lockout, but it also might have been about his uncertain contract status approaching unrestricted free agency this summer.
Ference badly wanted to remain in Boston with the Bruins after building strong roots with the city and the community, but contract talks never really progressed.