The Calgary-born Andrew Ference (full name Andrew James Stewart Ference) turns 34 today. Here’s a look at his career so far with the Boston Bruins–and the other teams that came before the Bs.
Ference started out playing junior hockey with the WHL Portland Winterhawks, which were still called the Winter Hawks during his tenure. Like the Chicago Blackhawks, they eventually dropped the use of the spacebar. Then, he was drafted 208th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins and reportedly didn’t even go to the 1997 draft in person.
He debuted in the NHL in October 1999, scoring his first goal in November of that year, though he spent his first season seesawing between Pittsburgh and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. It took him three seasons to get established as a full-time NHL player and he had his first playoff run with the Penguins in 2001.
Traded to the Calgary Flames, he went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004, though the Flames lost in six games. The 2004-05 lockout forced him to look elsewhere for work and he went to the Czech Republic’s HC Mountfield, where he returned to play during the 2012 lockout and was welcomed with open arms. The 2005-06 season saw him play all 82 games with Calgary for the first time in his career, but he would soon be on the move once again.
In February 2007, he and Chuck Kobasew were both traded to the Bruins. His three-year extension signed in 2010 will actually expire at the end of this season. He also made headlines in the first round of the 2011 playoffs when he scored a goal against the Montreal Canadiens in the Bell Centre and then–well, he saluted the Habs crowd with a gesture involving just one of his fingers and got a $2,500 fine for it. During the entire run to the Stanley Cup, he scored four goals and six assists, plus provided the team with the perspective of someone who made it all the way to the final round and lost. This time, of course, he didn’t, and he even had a flash mob in Boston with the Stanley Cup.
His 2011-12 season was his most productive as a Bruin with six goals and 18 assists, his best regular-season NHL production since 2005-06.
Off the ice, Ference married his girlfriend Krista in 2002 and is the father of two girls, Ava and Stella. He’s also quite passionate about the environment, championing a carbon-offsetting program for the NHL, using a compost heap and driving a slick electric car, the Fisker Karma. His life has been featured in a National Geographic series of webisodes called Beyond the Puck. Plus, he often coordinates the purchasing of items given to the MVP of each game, from the vintage jacket in the 2011 playoffs to the red chicken shirt he debuted yesterday.
Here are some moments from Ference so far:
Tyler Seguin helps set him up for a rebound goal in the 2012 playoffs.
This goal sent Roberto Luongo off to the bench in the 2011 final.
A sneaky backhander of a goal.
Showing some love to the Mountfield faithful.
He challenges Patrick Burke of the You Can Play Project to some early-morning exercise for a good cause.
A Beyond the Puck segment about that Fisker Karma.