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Chiarelli: Oilers getting good one in ‘competitive little S.O.B’ Ference

Aug 29, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

Andrew Ference Getty Images

To hear Peter Chiarelli say it, the Edmonton Oilers did well in signing Andrew Ference.

“Andy’s a competitive little S.O.B.,” Chiarelli told the Edmonton Journal of the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Ference. “He plays harder than his size.

“He’s aggressive, he’s efficient, he closes on guys really well, defends well and for his size, he’s very strong.”

The Bruins GM said the lone reason he didn’t bring back Ference this season was a cap crunch. Boston had to dedicate large sums of money to Tuukka Rask ($56 million) and Patrice Bergeron ($52 million), meaning Ference was part of the turnover that included Nathan Horton (who signed in Columbus), Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley (who were traded to Dallas).

Ference, who played out the final year of a three-year, $6.75 million deal with Boston in 2013, wasted no time in signing a four-year, $13 million deal with Edmonton when free agency opened.

He’s expected to be a mentor to the club’s younger players, most notably defensemen Justin Schultz (23 years old), Philip Larsen (also 23), Anton Belov (a 27-year-old Russian rookie) and, should they make the team, 20-year-old Oscar Klefbom (the club’s first-round pick in 2011) and 18-year-old Darnell Nurse (the No. 7 overall pick in 2013).

“[Ference will] fight, and was part of our leadership group. He was in our top four [defense] for a considerable period of time,” Chiarelli explained. “What he did was calm his partners down. He spent time with [Johnny] Boychuk and [Adam] McQuaid.

“He’d calm them down because his game is a simple game.”

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 30, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    No young team with crazy potential wins anything without some veteran guidance. Awesome signing.

    This team will be a force real soon. Yes, I know everyone said that whenever they got a high draft pick. But very few teams (ahem, Pittsburgh) can win Cups through the draft. I can’t wait to see this team dominate,

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      Even Pittsburgh didn’t win exclusively through the draft, do they win without Kunitz, Dupuis, Gonchar, Guerin, Fedotenko, Gill?

  2. giantssb42champs - Aug 30, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Ference looked like a statue quite a bit in the finals. Was he hurt?

    • bekay19 - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      Yes, he broke his foot in the Tor series, sat out NY series.. and came back to play..
      I would consider him a tough SOB

  3. amityvillefun - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Was sad to see him leave Boston. Ference is a great “team guy” and was really embraced by the city. He did the little things that make a team a cohesive unit (like coming up with the “player of the game” jackets).

    Edmonton should be very happy with his services on the ice, in the community, and in the locker room. Best of luck to him.

    Just don’t have any “equipment malfunctions” against Boston. Save those for the Habs.

  4. Moop - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Ference is a great guy and a solid player. I would have loved to see him return to the Bruins but between the salary cap and Bartowski and Krug looking in on playing for that 6th defensemen spot, it’s understandable why he couldn’t be signed. It’d be great to see him help make the Oilers a better team.

    • govtminion - Aug 30, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Exactly. It’s sad to see him leave- one of my favorite players on that team over the past few years- but with the glut of young d-men coming up this really is positive for both sides. The B’s save some salary and get a roster spot to put the kids into, and Ference goes somewhere to get top ice time again, to say nothing of a nice little paycheck. Win-win for the Bruins, Ference, and the Oilers, but it will be sad to not see him on the Boston bench.

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