The NHL has announced today that it has hired former Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference as its Director of Social Impact, Growth and Fan Development.
It’s expected that Ference will continue to reside in Edmonton as he tackles his new career, but that he’ll also make frequent trips to the NHL’s head offices in New York City.
Here’s the official press release from the NHL:
In his new role, Ference will be responsible for helping to advance the League's social impact, community based grassroots and fan development growth efforts. Leveraging his 16-year professional hockey career and relationships across many stakeholder groups, he will develop new strategies to drive on- and off-ice youth participation and fandom efforts, particularly focused on bringing new audiences to the game through deeper engagement efforts that are anchored by Declaration of Principles.
"During his playing career, Andrew Ference demonstrated his commitment to excellence both on and off the ice serving as an innovative ambassador for the sport and the League in building vibrant communities through social impact," said Davis. "We are thrilled to have him join our team."
An eighth-round selection (208th overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Ference played for the Penguins, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins (with whom he won a Stanley Cup in 2011) and Edmonton Oilers (during which he served as team captain). A native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, he also represented Canada at the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Throughout his professional hockey career, Ference's personal interest in environmental sustainability and health and wellness has led him to key leadership positions in both fields. He has been a member of the Green Sports Alliance's board of directors since 2016, a partner with Fifth Season Ventures since 2015, and founded the November Project Canada free fitness movement in 2013. In 2014, Ference received the King Clancy Award, given to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
The 38-year-old Ference played just over two seasons with the Oilers, putting up just six goals and 32 points in 147 games before his career was sidetracked due to injury.
Congrats, Andrew! We’re sure you’ll do fantastic in your new career!