Andrew Ference said on Wednesday that he will be playing in 2013-14, but that it won't be with the Boston Bruins.
"With the current cap, Peter [Chiarelli] is not going to be able to keep me," Ference said, referring to the Bruins' general manager. "He's got to resign Tuukka [Rask] and obviously do his side of the business.
"With the new CBA he is restricted. I wish it wasn't so."
Ference has been with the Bruins since they acquired him in a trade with the Calgary Flames during the 2006-07 season and has become a staple on their blue line, winning a Stanley Cup with the team during the 2010-11 season. In 48 games this season he scored four goals to go with nine assists.
Given that Boston has just $5 million in cap space heading into the offseason and still has to work out a new deal with Rask, a restricted free agent, it was going to be nearly impossible for the Bruins to work out a deal with Ference.
When you combine that with the fact that the Bruins have a number of young defensemen working their way into the lineup, including playoff sensation Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton, it makes the decision to part ways with Ference even easier.
The 34-year-old Ference shouldn't have any problem finding a new club on the open market, and given the current makeup of the free agent list he probably figures to be one of the better players available at the position for a team needing depth on the blue line.
Perhaps his most famous moment with the Bruins came during the 2011 playoffs when he "unintentionally" gave Montreal fans the finger after a goal (though, he later admitted it was intentional) on their way to the Stanley Cup.