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NHL Boston BruinsEdmonton Oilers

Andrew Ference Headed Home to Edmonton Oilers

Bob DeChiara – USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Ference hails from Sherwood Park, Alberta, which is located just east of Edmonton. Now he can say he’s played for both Alberta-based NHL teams because with the opening of free agency, he’s signed with the Edmonton Oilers, officially saying goodbye to his tenure with the Boston Bruins.

His new deal is worth $3.25 million per year for four years, or a total of $13 million. That may seem a bit much, but really it kind of isn’t when you consider the fact that the Oilers are pretty troubled on defense. They have a surfeit of talented young forwards to do big things on the front end, but the back end is lacking.

So, bringing in an older guy–especially since Shawn Horcoff is gone now–who has been to the Stanley Cup Final thrice in his career so far (once with the rival Calgary Flames, but never mind that, that was literally two lockouts ago) and has a ring to his name can also be invaluable for such a youthful movement team.

There’s also the small matter of the hometown pull. Right after the signing was announced, he sent this sweet little picture out on Twitter:

But before leaving Boston, he had a great time yesterday at the Boston Pops, taking his whole family down to the Esplanade for one last great Bostonian hurrah. You can’t get much better than that, although he went ahead and one-upped the whole thing by meeting Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and then thanking all the police and security personnel for keeping the dazzling fireworks show safe.

The Bruins and Oilers never see one another very often during a properly-sized season, but when they do meet for the first time this year, it will be an interesting and odd occasion–especially if that first meeting happens to be in Boston.