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Ference Out Until February

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- After serving the first of a three game suspension, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference was -- as per usual -- philosophical.

"Well the first reaction today was we heard their player’s fine and he’ll play next game and there’s no injuries. So first and foremost that’s a positive," said Ference of the New York Rangers Ryan McDonagh. "Like I said last night after the hit, you hope he’s not injured so that’s good."

On Sunday, shortly before the B's game versus Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Vice President for Player Safety Brendan Shanahan "tweeted" a video (via @NHLShanahan), which gave his reasoning for the three game suspension given the Bruins Blueliner.

Ference's check versus McDonagh in overtime on Saturday led to a five minute major and game misconduct for Ference, and the resulting power play led to Marian Gaborik's game-winner.

"While we would agree with Ference’s assertion that there was no malicious intent, this nevertheless is a reckless shove from behind that causes a dangerous collision with the boards," said Shanahan to "It’s a textbook example of the boarding rule that was rewritten for this season to include pushes or shoves and reflects emphasis upon impact with the boards."

Asked about his thoughts on decision, Ference said, "As far as an opinion on the suspension, I think it’s best reserved for friends and family - it doesn’t serve much purpose for me to dole it out right here.

"The process happens and they come up with that [ruling]," he added. "So be it. Deal with it."

For the most part, the B's dealt with it against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday and snuck out of Philly with two points thanks to a 6-5 shootout win, but the suspension was still high on the hockey media's priority list. However, Ference continued to take the high road while discussing the NHL's decision to sit him down.

"Everybody gets their say, there’s and official process it’s the same for every guy who goes through that process," said Ference of his phone hearing. "The player says something, [NHL Vice President Brendan Shanahan] says something, the player says something and that’s that.

"At the end of the day it’s his call."

Asked his explanation for the hit, Ference said he told Shanahan, "I was going extremely fast trying to win a race to the puck and, once I realized the race to the puck was lost, changed course and tried to create a pin situation against the boards where you can battle the puck and keep it at your feet.

"At the initial contact of the pin, he obviously loses his balance to the extreme and goes in pretty hard," he said. "That’s how I explained it to him."

The veteran defenseman also tried to explain his own feelings about his first suspension.

"Well it’s 800 games with playoffs," said Ference. "It was mutually agreed on the phone he saw no intent to injure...and like I said he’s not injured, which I’m very happy about.

"With those three things into consideration they come up with their number."

Unfortunately for the Bruins, No. 21 will be out until February 2 versus Carolina.
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