SuGaR RuSh
2003-02-12 00:00:58 (UTC)


Andy just dandy with becoming a Calgary Flame
by Mike Board

The depleted Calgary Flames blueline got a boost on Monday.

The Flames have acquired defenceman Andrew Ference from the
Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a conditional pick in
the 2003 or 2004 Entry Draft.

And Ference is a happy camper.

"This is a bit of a homecoming for me," said Ference. "I
spend my summers in Canmore and I am from Sherwood Park.
It's great to be out in the west and playing under the
guidance of some great coaches."

Ference was born in Edmonton and played junior for the
Portland Winter Hawks in the Western Hockey League where he
was a two-time all-star. He was chosen 208th overall in
1997 by the Penguins. His parents are currently building
their retirement home in Canmore. And last summer he
married a girl from Vernon.~ SHE IS A WHORE!!! GRRRRR

"Canmore is kinda halfway between Edmonton and Vernon," he

He missed the first 21 games of the season after hernia
surgery. And when he returned the Pens promptly went on a

"My first 11 games our team went one and 10. It was tough.
I got in a hole there with the plus-minus for sure. And I
have only played 10 games since that time. So it has been
tough going as far as winning games and things like that.
But, personally I have been happy with my game," said

That situation has mirrored his time with the Pens. "It's
been a bit of a roller-coaster," said Ference. "It's kinda
weird. I have been there for four seasons and there were
some healthy scratches and things. But I have a lot of good

Like playing with stars like Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr
to begin with.

"I had great offensive times playing with Mario and
Jaromir," he said.

However, his game is more an all-around type of game as
opposed to an offensive game.

"I like to hit a lot. You drop the gloves when you have to.
I played in the WHL and that's the way I grew up. It wasn't
always the Pittsburgh style but I've kept it in the
background," said Ference after joining the team in Newport
Beach on Monday.

Calgary general manager Craig Button said: "Andrew is a
solid all-around player who will contribute to our team. He
skates and handles the puck well and is dependable. He is a
strong and serious competitor who will help our team both
defensively and offensively."

Ference, 5'11" 196 lbs., played in 22 games this season
with the Penguins posting one goal and three assists and 36
penalty minutes. The 23-year old has appeared in 163 NHL
career games in three seasons with Pittsburgh.

Last year he led the Penguins with 149 hits and averaged
about 18 minutes of ice time a game.

"I don't try to pretend to be a goal-scorer," said Ference,
part of a house-cleaning effort conducted by the Penguins
on Monday as they also swung a mulit-player, multi-cash
deal with the New York Rangers. "And I don't try and
stickhandle out of my own end. I like to pass to the
forwards and let them do their thing and use my speed to
get into the play."

Ference is expected to dress for Flames next game,
Wednesday in Anaheim. ~AM I GUNNA C THAT