: Confirmed with Link:
Oiler Sign Andrew Ference - 4 years, $3.25M per
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07-06-2013, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Originally Posted by
It doesn't always work that way, though. Having a Chara in the lineup allows you to give other guys more structured roles, allows them to play with less pressure, and a result they end up being generally more effective.
We saw the same thing here when Pronger was around. Did Smith, Spacek or Bergeron ever play better than they did in 2006? Thank Pronger's puck skills (Smith), and ability to soak up tough minutes (Spacek, Bergeron) for that.
I'm a fan of this signing, but I am a little worried that, in the absence of a 30-minute monster, Ference is going to be asked to do too much and ends up struggling.
God knows this franchise has not been good at putting players in positions to succeed over the last decade-and-a-half.
I'm still hoping we get Coburn. Obviously he's not Pronger or Chara, but I think the addition of him AND Ference would give Eakins a lot of options to distribute the tough minutes between four guys who can handle them (N.Schultz too, to a lesser degree).
I think that's a D that could get you into the eighth spot.
Of course the most obvious problem here for Ference is we don't have anything close to Chara and we don't have a bonafide first pairing or shutdown pair so theres always going to be temptation to utilize Ference beyond his accustomed means. Ference has always looked down the bench and had better D than him that shouldered the worst of the load.
Additionally a lot is said about where Ference has fit in past clubs. In Boston, even though he could be 3rd, 4th in minutes at times having a guy like Chara in the lineup is almost like having two D in the ranks ahead of you. A guy that plays first and second pairing a lot of the time. This is what Pronger gave us as well.
People should reflect always on how much better ordinary mortal D looked in the presence of greatness. Bergeron never looked better. Several of our D never looked better. None of these people never again found the success they had with Pronger.
The Ference one see's in Boston is not the Ference we will see here. He won't look steady, he'll make mistakes, get out of plays, struggle, GA will increase. But he will be physical, will bring an edge, and it will be a benefit in that way. This is not a steady D, and won't be a shutdown guy here. I would be very surprised if he's able to ramp that up and if he somehow does it would be the best acquisition of the summer.
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