Oilers sign Ference for 4 years

Updated: July 5, 2013, 10:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers added experience to their defense on the first day of free agency, signing Andrew Ference on Friday.

Ference signed a four-year, $13 million deal, a hefty raise from his last contract with the Boston Bruins.

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun earlier reported Ference's deal.

The 34-year-old Edmonton native was a key part of the Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup finals, though there was no room for him to return to Boston because of salary-cap issues and young defensemen in their system.

"It's a new challenge. I'm pretty good at turning the page," Ference told ESPN.com.

He noted that when he arrived in Boston during the 2006-07 season there wasn't much experience in the locker room of players who had gone to the playoffs and they ended up winning a Stanley Cup in 2011 and going to the final this spring.

"We worked extremely hard to earn that," he said. "It's an amazing thing to be a part of."

Now he hopes to replicate that experience in Edmonton.

"The talent there is undeniable in Edmonton. That's undisputable. I want to be part of it," Ference said.

Ference joins a defense that includes Justin Schultz, Ladislav Smid and Nick Schultz.

In 760 career games, Ference has 37 goals and 156 assists. He was a part of the Bruins' Cup champion team in 2011.

The Oilers also signed a pair of ex-Coyotes -- center Boyd Gordon and goaltender Jason Labarbera.

Gordon signed a three-year deal with Edmonton. He has 122 points in 486 games with Washington and Phoenix.

Labarbera signed a one-year contract. The veteran backup spent the past four seasons with the Coyotes.

The Oilers also added former New York Islanders forward Jesse Joensuu, Will Acton and Ryan Hamilton.

Information from ESPN.com's Scott Burnside and The Associated Press was used in this report.