In the wee hours of the morning on Jan. 6, Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins sent out a tweet that contained nothing but a thumbs-up emoticon. Ference had been in New York City for the ongoing negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA, which had become a marathon 16-hour bargaining session stretching into the aforementioned wee hours.
In case anyone thought Ference had made a mistake in sending a tweet of just a thumbs-up emoticon, he sent out another tweet to clarify.
But wait, there’s more–he had a thought for the throngs of reporters whose sleep patterns got interrupted to cover this bargaining session.
After joking that proposals to plant trees and install solar panels somehow didn’t make it into the tentative agreement that came to light at 5 a.m., Ference took a more serious tack and tried to make amends for the problems and heartbreak that the NHL lockout had caused over the past 113 days.
Ference is a real class act. I like that he even mentioned his grandparents, who have probably been anxiously awaiting their grandson’s return to doing the job he loves to do, in the same breath as the legions of Bruins fans who follow him on Twitter. It’s very nice of him to apologize, although there’s only so much he can do in this situation and he didn’t exactly start the lockout.
Speaking of his relatives, though, his father used Twitter to send his son some congratulations for the role he played in birthing a new CBA:
Don’t worry, Ference, we’re all excited to see the NHL teams return to the ice. (We’re going to need some more thank-you perks this time than just a message painted on the ice, though. I propose free NHL Center Ice for all!) All the details of the schedule still need to be hammered out, and the deal itself needs to be ratified, but still. This long international nightmare is on its way to ending.