Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference has announced his retirement from professional hockey after 16 seasons in the National Hockey League.
Ference, 38, spent the past four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, where he served as captain from 2013-2015. He appeared in 147 games and recorded 32 points (6G, 26A) and 108 penalty minutes with the orange and blue.
The 5'11", 184-pound blueliner spent time with four NHL teams (Pittsburgh, Calgary, Boston and Edmonton) over his 16 year career, after being selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 8th round, 208th overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
Ference appeared in 907 career NHL games, accumulating 225 points (43G, 182A) and 753 penalty minutes. He also played in 120 playoff games, posting 38 points (8G, 30A) and 122 penalty minutes, including capturing the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins.
Andrew said, "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. 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."
"My parents and sister didn't teach me a lick about skating or shooting but they did teach me a ton about life off of the ice. Because of their lessons, I leave the game having a lot of pride in what I accomplished away from the rink in the great communities where I played."
"Lastly, thank you to Pittsburgh, Calgary, České Budějovice, Boston and Edmonton. Your love of our sport provided me with an incredible stage to play on and your cities will always feel like home to me. Hockey fans really are amazing!"
The Sherwood Park, Alberta native played his junior hockey with the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks, registering 184 points in 258 career games. He led the Winterhawks to a Memorial Cup championship in 1998.
Ference also represented Canada at the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Andrew currently resides in Edmonton with his wife Krista and daughters Ava and Stella and continues to make significant contributions to the City of Edmonton.