Andrew Ference signed to 3-year extension for $2.25 mil.
The timing of the deal was a little surprising as the regular season comes to an end. Ference would have been an unrestricted free agent at the season’s end. Ference, 31, has been injury prone in his stay in Boston and will most likely need off-season surgery on his injured groin. Ference will be the recipient of a significant raise, up from $1.4 million this season.
Ference is seen as the team’s fifth defensemen alongside Johnny Boychuk. The Bruins now have four defensemen on the books for next season in Zdeno Chara, Dennis Wideman, Matt Hunwick, and now Andrew Ference. Dennis Seidenberg will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and Johnny Boychuk and Mark Stuart will be restricted free agents.
The deal is surprising on a few fronts.
1. The Bruins value Ference over Dennis Seidenberg, Mark Stuart, and Johnny Boychuk. Ference is way below both Stuart and Seidenberg on the depth chart and will be behind Boychuk in due time as the rookie develops.
2. The Bruins again overpay for a menial defenseman and take valuable money away from getting a bona fide scorer.
3. The Bruins now have nearly $14 million dollars locked up on their three highest paid defensemen and $6.25 million on their goaltenders. $20 million dollars spent on five players who are going to provide almost no offense.
Hopefully the Bruins can cut some of the fat off their roster by not re-signing non essential players to make room to make a splash in free agency. It may be time for some of the P-Bears to make the jump to the big league (I’m looking at you Hamill), and if the Toronto pick turns out to be a top 2 or 3 pick you can expect to see him in Boston.
I personally don’t like the signing, I think there are a lot of better players that you can get for the same pay. Hell, one of those players is on your roster now in Dennis Seidenberg. I thought this season made Chiarelli realize that money is best spent in offensive talent but maybe I was wrong. This is another bad signing by Chiarelli, overpaying for mediocracy.
The Bruins have so many overpaid players on their squad that it makes my head spin. Tim Thomas at $5 million for the next three seasons, Wideman at $4 million for two more, Michael Ryder at $4 million for one more, and Patrice Bergeron (as much as I hate to say it) is overpaid at $4.75 million. That’s a lot of money for non-essential players. Hopefully Chiarelli wakes up and gets a scorer via trade of signing over the summer. If not it may be time to point the finger and kick him to the curb.
To look at the Bruins salary cap breakdown click here. It doesn’t include the Ference signing but you get a sense of the room the Bruins have to work with for next season.
I’m curious as to what other Bruins fans think about the signing. Let me know in the comments section.