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EDMONTON – (Wire Service Report by The Sports Xchange) – Former Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference officially announced his retirement after 16 seasons in the NHL. He retired as a member of the Edmonton Oilers where he spent the last four seasons with the Oilers and served as the team’s captain from 2013-15. The 38-year-old Alberta native recorded six goals, 26 assists and 108 penalty minutes in 147 career games with Edmonton.
Ference played just six games in 2015-16 before undergoing season-ending hip surgery, and he did not play any games for the Oilers this past season..
“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,” the 5-foot-11, 184-pound Ference said. “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!
“My girls, Ava and Stella, and my wife, Krista, however do deserve a proper thanks and my infinite gratitude. They tended my broken bones and bruised ego more times than I can count and gave me unending love and support even when I missed a Christmas concert for a road trip.”
Ference accumulated 225 points (43 goals, 182 assists) and 753 penalty minutes in 907 career contests with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins and Oilers. He was selected by Pittsburgh in the eighth round of the 1997 NHL draft.
“Lastly, thank you to Pittsburgh, Calgary … Boston and Edmonton,” Ference said. “Your love of our sport provided me with an incredible stage to play on and your cities will always feel like home to me. Hockey fans really are amazing!
TAMPA – (Staff report from Official News Release) – Super League Gaming, the global community platform that offers accessible esports competitions, content and social interactions for amateur gamers, today announced that it has received $15 million in Series C funding from Nickelodeon, a division of Viacom, DMG Entertainment, a SoftBank-managed fund, Toba Capital, and multiple traditional professional sports team owners including Jeffrey Vinik, owner of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, and aXiomatic, a premier esports entity backed by professional sports and media leaders. To date, Super League has raised more than $28 million, with earlier participation from investors including Cinemark USA, Inc., ET Capital and Quadrant Management.
“Esports is exploding in popularity around the world, but the current landscape is lacking an open, easy
access point for aspiring gamers and enthusiasts to connect and participate,” said Ann Hand, CEO of
Super League Gaming. “With our online and live in-person events, we’re leading the way in bringing
gamers into esports in a safe, fun and socially rewarding way. Our city-based clubs add a sense of
belonging and fandom currently missing from esports.”
Founded in 2014 with its initial offering of Minecraft events in movie theaters for kids, Super League has
now hosted more than 30,000 kids in friendly competition over six seasons of play. In November of 2016,
Super League expanded its offering by introducing the world’s most played video game, League of
Legends, to its competitive events series in partnership with Riot Games. There has been one season of
League of Legends intercity tournament play, with the second season launching online in July in 12
markets across the United States.
“We are excited to enter the world of esports through our relationship with Super League, which has a
loyal and growing fan base of kids,” said Matthew Evans, Executive Vice President of Digital and New
Business, Nickelodeon. “Nickelodeon is interested in esports because gaming is an important passion
point for kids today, and forging this partnership with Super League puts us at the forefront of where kids
will be playing next.”