Sports

Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference move on from Bruins

The Bruins have failed in their pursuit of Daniel Alfredsson. The former Ottawa captain chose the Red Wings over the Bruins when the NHL free agency period opened on Friday.

Also, the Bruins officially said goodbye to Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference as free agency began. Both ex-Bruins signed big-term deals, with Horton going to Columbus and Ference to Edmonton.

The Bruins chased Alfredsson during the interview period. He would have been Nathan Horton’s replacement as the No. 1 right wing next to Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

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But the Bruins will have to look elsewhere to fill their holes at right wing. They are down Horton, Jaromir Jagr, Tyler Seguin, and Rich Peverley. Loui Eriksson, acquired from Dallas in the deal for Seguin, could be their No. 2 right wing.

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GM Peter Chiarelli wants a shooter to play alongside Lucic and Krejci. Dan Cleary could be a candidate.

Horton agreed to a seven-year, $37.1 million contract with Columbus. It is the 28-year-old’s final megabucks payday.

The Bruins might have been able to match Columbus’s $5.3 million average annual value. But they would not have given Horton seven years of term. Horton will require surgery on his left shoulder. Two of his last three seasons were cut short because of concussions.

Ference signed a four-year, $13 million contract with the Oilers. Edmonton is Ference’s hometown.

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He will help stabilize the young Edmonton club. However, Ference is 34 years old, and his game projects to slip by the end of his contract.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at fshinzawa@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto.