BOSTON (CBS) — Former Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference announced his retirement on Thursday after playing 16 seasons in the NHL, the last three spent with the Edmonton Oilers.

“As I graduate from my time of playing in the NHL, I realize I have the problem of being unable to properly thank the hundreds of people who have helped me achieve my goal of playing in the best league in the world,” said Ference in a statement through the Oilers PR team. “No one gets here on their own, especially average sized guys with average skills. If you think you deserve a thank you from me, you probably do … Thanks!”

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Ference played six seasons with the Bruins, playing a key role on the blue line in their 2010-11 Stanley Cup championship season. He also played in the Stanley Cup Final with the Bruins in 2013. Ference infamously got fined $2,500 during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs for what was deemed an obscene gesture toward the Canadiens, but the defenseman termed it an “unintentional bird”.

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The Bruins acquired Ference from the Flames along with winger Chuck Kobasew in 2007 in exchange for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau. He signed with the Oilers as a free agent in 2013, as something of a precursor to the Bruins’ defensive rebuild that continues to this day. He served as Oilers captain from 2013-15.

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Ference totaled 225 points in 907 games between the Penguins, Flames, Bruins, and Oilers.