Ference/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — There’s challenge to Andrew Ference’s title as the most socially conscious Bruins player.

From global climate change to politics, Ference is up on the world’s affairs and as active in them as he can be when he’s not training of helping the Bruins win the Stanley Cup.

So now that he’s a champion, he might gain a bigger platform for some of the causes that are closest to his heart.

“I don’t know. Maybe,” said Ference when asked about getting more publicity for those causes. “I guess whatever happens happens with that kind of stuff. But I won’t be preaching down the middle of the street. Don’t worry.”

At 32 years old and with more than a decade of NHL experience, Ference had one of the longer waits to capture the Cup. He says it didn’t take long for the reality to set in.

“It’s very real. I think from the moment we got on the plane it sunk in for most guys, and landing in Boston, seeing people’s reactions around town, it feels really great,” he explained. “You spend all playoffs blocking emotion out. And you train yourself to kind of play without emotion during the games and stuff. And so you just can’t flick a switch. It does take a time to go become, I don’t know, human. Even normal, human emotions and allowing yourselves to enjoy things and get worked up, so I think we’ve done that over the last couple days.”

He’s shared some of those emotions with fans who’ve suffered longer than him without the Cup coming back to Boston. Having been in Boston since his trade from Calgary in 2007, Ference has learned how passionate the fan base is and how desperately everyone want the Bruins to join its professional-sports brethren in the Hub with a title.

That’s why he and his teammates have been willing to open up the celebration to anyone that wants to party.

“I think that guys are embracing everyone just sharing this moment,” he said. “Whether it’s fans or players, we all know that we all really feel the same way because we’ve been waiting. We know that we’re in a city that cares as much as we do. I think guys are just embracing and sharing with everybody and not feeling any intrusion.”

Injury-plagued for much of his time in Boston, Ference followed up a 70-game regular season by playing all 25 games of the Bruins’ Cup run. And he do so effectively, as he combined with Johnny Boychuk to give the Bruins a responsible, capable second defense pair. Ference, never one to be confused for an offensive defenseman, actually surpassed his regular-season goal total of three with four goals in the postseason.

When looking back at the Bruins Cup run, several things personal and team-wide stick out for Ference.

“I’m really proud of the first round and getting past that hurdle against a rival and how close that series was,” Ference said. “Having to win games up in Montreal was really special. As a team, the first round’s the biggest hurdle. And that’s a real turning point for us.

“Personally, just playing every game, contributing and keeping Vancouver to such few goals as a defensive group was a huge … Timmy [Thomas] and us on defense were so proud of shutting down what everybody else couldn’t. It was a really big accomplishment.”