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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bruins Sign Defenseman Ference to Three-Year Extension

The Boston Bruins announced today that they have signed defenseman Andrew Ference to a three-year contract extension worth $6.75 million. The deal averages out to $2.25 million per season. He would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1. In 50 games so far this season with the Bruins, Ference has eight assists. He has missed 22 games this season because of a groin injury. In 569 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, and Boston Bruins, he has 24 goals and 117 assists for 141 points. In my opinion, this isn't such a wise move on the Bruins' part. Ference has been a reliable defensive blueliner for the Bruins since being acquired in 2007, but they are paying him way too much money for his skill level. The team probably could have let him depart via free agency this summer and replaced him with a minor league defenseman of comparable skill and point production and a much cheaper contract, or, found a much better defenseman on the free agent market that they could have thrown that kind of money at. The Bruins now have $47 million committed to 13 players next season, and if the salary cap stays close to $56 million for next season, will have roughly $9 million to spend on re-signing impending free agents or bringing in new players via free agency. Signing Ference to the contract that they did does not leave the Bruins with much salary cap space to bring in more offensive depth, which saw a significant decrease this season compared to last season.

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