Edmonton Oilers: Andrew Ference Announces Retirement

EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 21: Andrew Ference. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 21: Andrew Ference. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

After 16 seasons in the NHL, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference officially announced his retirement Thursday.

Ference had played just six games over the course of the last two seasons; he underwent major hip surgery in 2015-16, which forced him to stay off the ice and forfeit the captaincy. He failed his medical testing at training camp this past year, which held him out for the year, as the Oilers placed him on the long-term injured reserve. This effectively ended his hockey-playing career.

Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers /

Edmonton Oilers

Drafted 208th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Ference played 16 seasons with the Penguins, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins and Oilers. Through 907 games, Ference finished his career with 43 goals and 225 points.

The 5-foot-11, 182-pound blueliner also finished with 729 hits and 625 blocks through his career (though those weren’t counted prior to the 2007-08 campaign, so he likely finished with higher totals).

Ference also won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011, served as the Oilers’ captain and won the King Clancy Award in 2014 for his leadership and humanitarian efforts throughout the Edmonton community.

Ference’s Impact

On the ice, the Edmonton native was a solid blueliner. He was a good skater, logged big minutes and used his physicality and aggressiveness to his advantage. Most importantly, Ference acted as a leader on his team and served as a positive influence in the locker room.

Ference’s biggest impact, however, likely came off the ice. He was a huge member of the surrounding community and was aware of humanitarian causes everywhere he played. Over the years, he has donated and helped raise money for charity, worked with the Make-A-Wish foundation and more.

He also worked with the NHL Players’ Association to track the use of carbon from players’ travels. In addition, Ference studied sustainability and innovation at Harvard, something he will likely continue now that he’s hung up the skates.

Next: Edmonton Oilers: Andrew Ference Talks Career, Humanitarian Efforts

Overall, Ference had an outstanding career with a lot to show for it. As he continues on with his life, the Edmonton community will certainly remember his impact, on and off the ice.