Teams ask about Ference's negotiating rights

Teams ask about Ference's negotiating rights
June 29, 2013, 4:45 pm
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NEW YORK CITY – The Bruins are very active on the trade market on a number of different fronts, and that includes players that they’ve already closed the books on for next season and beyond.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli revealed that “a couple of teams” have inquired about the exclusive negotiating rights with veteran defenseman Andrew Ference before he officially becomes a free agent on July 5. Earlier this summer the Philadelphia Flyers snipped a fourth round pick to the New York Islanders in exchange for the negotiating rights with Mark Streit before he hit free agency in July.

The Bruins informed the 34-year-old alternate captain earlier this week that they were moving in a different direction due to salary cap concerns, and they would allow Ference to depart via free agency after seven strong seasons in Boston.

Just as they gave Ference the proper respect by letting him know immediately about their plans with, or in this case without, him, Chiarelli also wants to work in concert with Ference about potentially trading his negotiating rights to a team where he’d like to sign as a free agent.

Ference would be a natural fit for his hometown Edmonton Oilers team looking for leadership and veteran defensemen capable of excelling in the defensive zone, but it remains to be seen if the player wants to make that move.

“I’ve got a couple of teams on Andy, and I’ve spoken with his agent about helping out,” said Chiarelli. “I’ve actually given his agent permission to speak with teams and then come back to me. I’m not going to stand in his way. As I said at my press conference, he’s been a warrior for us and I’m going to do anything I can to help him.”

It’s no surprise Ference is stirring interest among other NHL teams looking for a veteran blueliner capable of providing leadership and oodles of big game experience, but it’s also amazing to think he might help his former B’s hockey club out one more time if he can net them a draft pick as team and player part ways.