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Andrew Ference retires after 16 NHL seasons

Defenseman won Stanley Cup with Bruins in 2011, King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2014 @NHL

Defenseman Andrew Ference announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday after 16 seasons.

He didn't play last season because of a hip injury that had limited him to six games with the Edmonton Oilers in 2015-16.

Video: NHL Tonight on Andrew Ference announcing retirement

Ference, 38, had 225 points (43 goals, 182 assists) in 907 games with the Oilers, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins. He helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011 and reached the Final with the Flames in 2004. He was captain of the Oilers from 2013-15 and won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2014, an award given to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.

"As I graduate from my time of playing in the NHL, I realize I have the problem of being unable to properly thank the hundreds of people who have helped me achieve my goal of playing in the best league in the world," Ference told the NHL Players' Association website. "No one gets here on their own, especially average-sized guys with average skills. If you think you deserve a thank you from me, you probably do … Thanks!

"My girls, Ava and Stella, and my wife, Krista, however do deserve a proper thanks and my infinite gratitude. They tended my broken bones and bruised ego more times than I can count and gave me unending love and support even when I missed a Christmas concert for a road trip."

Ference helped Portland of the Western Hockey League win the Memorial Cup in 1998 and played for Canada at the 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was an eighth-round pick (No. 208) by the Penguins at the 1997 NHL Draft.

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