The Edmonton Oilers will someday (SOMEDAY!) rise to the top of the table, and this season will be remembered as the most trying. It is fitting then, and should be viewed as good fortune, that Andrew Ference was named captain of the Edmonton Oilers for this tumultuous year.
Andrew Ference 13-14
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.65 (2nd among regular D)
- 5×4 points per 60: 4.47 (1st among regular D)
- Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular D
- Qual Team: 2nd best available among regular D
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 42.9
- Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -3.1
- Zone Start: 45.9% (4th toughest among regular D)
- Zone Finish: 47.1% (best among D)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 77 shots/3.9% (3rd among Oil D>50 shots)
- Boxcars: 71, 3-15-18
- Plus Minus: -18 on a team that was -51
RE 13-14: 76, 3-14-17 .224
Actual: 71, 3-15-18 .254
- Did he play well? Not especially, but his Corsi Rel was about the same as last year in Boston (-3.4 in Boston, -3.1 here).
- Who did Ference play with? At 5×5, 465 minutes with Justin Schultz, 321 with Jeff Petry, 148 with Nick Schultz.
- What’s the downside of his season? He didn’t make any difference at all. Andrew Ference was signed as a veteran hand who would come in and still the thunder, use those calm feet to stop the crazy.
- No one could have made any difference. Martin Marincin, a raw rookie making diddly, made a difference. That young man delivered as soon as his plane landed.
- Weird song choice. It’s about finding a really good place. I think this is the beginning of being a really good place. For me, last summer, the addition of Ference, Perron and Gordon was the point where the healing began. We’re not dancing to the violins and the two guitars yet, but I do believe there’s a better day ahead with these Oilers.
- What value does Ference bring? Shelter, for one. In my opinion this was a good hire for all kinds of reasons, the main one being he’d been down the losing road and could answer all the questions without making a mess.
- Answer questions to media or players? Both, one assumes. It can’t be easy to face the media after another loss, Ference did it well. There’s a certain value, I think, in having a veteran do it instead of someone like Hall. I love Taylor Hall as a hockey player, but outbursts are possible in our youth.
- What are the other good reasons to have signed Ference? Well, he played some tough minutes this season—second toughest competition, and the zone start was no screaming hell—and he survived it. The Oilers paid him to play in their top 4D, and he did, although the results were a train wreck along with the rest of the team.
- Did you like the signing. Here’s what I said a year ago: D Andrew Ference, 4 years times 3.25M. An overpay where he’ll play, Ference is ideally suited as a veteran pairing for Schultz the younger. He was 4th among Bruins in EV TOI (17:06) and fourth in PK TOI (2:13) and will probably play similar minutes with the Oilers. I think we should probably prepare for Ladislav Smid or Nick Schultz heading out of town (Ottawa or Philly is my guess) before training camp. The current LH depth chart is Smid, Ference, N Schultz, Anton Belov, Oscar Klefbom–suspect we’ll see a flip before fall.
- Well they traded them all. It made sense, Ference made Smid moot and Marincin came along and did the same for Schultz the elder.
- So, Ference failed in his role to be a useful defenseman and succeeded in the postgame scrums? I’d frame it a little differently. He skated miles, gave the team some personality and toughness, and represented the team well in a trying season. But yes, this was a failed season by Ference.
- Captains make no difference. Shayne Corson says hello.
- What are the on-ice positives we can take from Ference’s season? He played as well or better than any other defender who spent extended time alongside Justin Schultz.
- What? Ference-Schultz were 42.1% Corsi for%, Schultz-Schultz 38.4%.
- Was anyone better? In far fewer sorties, Belov was 49% with Schultz the younger, Oscar Klefbom was 44.3%.
- Where does Ference play next season? Third pairing, with Justin Schultz. That’s an ideal scenario from here.
- Expensive pairing. The Oilers signed Ference for more and longer, that’s why he’s here. I’d submit he’s still useful in a third pairing role and as a penalty killer. That has value.
- But he couldn’t be captain. I think the changing of the guard depends more on the guy taking over than Ference.
- They’re always too young or old when they’re Oilers. Why can’t they have a bunch of defensemen in their prime? That’s the best question you’ve ever asked, and the answer is because Oilers.
- Will MacT make it better? I think he’ll try, and eventually it won’t matter because the young players will grow up and cover the gap. One hopes it comes sooner than later. If MacT has to wait on Nurse, he won’t be the GM when things turn north.
- Will Andrew Ference skate in a playoff game as an Edmonton Oiler? I believe he will.