NHL free agency 2013: Andrew Ference unlikely to return to Bruins

Jared Wickerham

Due to the declining salary cap, pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Andrew Ference believes he will not be retained by the Boston Bruins.

Pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Andrew Ference stated that he will not be returning to the Boston Bruins next season during his end-of-season media availability on Wednesday.

Ference completed the final year of a three-year, $6.75 million contract that carried an annual average value of $2.25 million against the salary cap. Given the declining nature of the cap in 2013-14 to $64.3 million, Ference believes there will not be enough available cap space for manager Peter Chiarelli to extend him a competitive offer.

Ference has spent the last seven seasons with the Bruins and has been identified as a player central to the team's leadership corps.

Unfortunately, the declining salary cap is a component that the majority of NHL teams will be forced to deal with this offseason and could result in several players looking for employment with new clubs that might not have been in previous seasons.

This is especially true for the Bruins, as goaltender Tuukka Rask is a restricted free agent and is reportedly seeking a contract that pays in the $6.5 million-per-season range. In addition, the team has other areas that need to be filled out. Meaning, Ference might not be the only Bruin playing for a new team next season.

More in the NHL:

Video: Bettman gets booed

Kane wins Conn Smythe

Blackhawks celebrate in GIF form

Bergeron played with rib, shoulder injuries

Complete Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage

The best of our hockey network

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.