The first NHL buy-out win began on Wednesday, and will run until 7pm MST on June 30th. During this time, the Oilers have the opportunity to buy out any contract that they please. Unfortunately, due to some injury circumstances, the one player that was most likely to be bought out, cannot be — I’m looking at you Andrew Ference.
Due to a nagging hip injury, and a more than his fair share of healthy scratches, thirty-seven year old Andrew Ference was limited to only six games for the Oilers last season. As the Oilers slowly fell out of a playoff spot, more talk surfaced about the idea of buying out of the final year of Ference’s $3.25 million contract. The small sample size didn’t help, but in the games that Ference did play, it was obvious that keeping up to the speed of the game has become impossible for him. That, along with his age, made buying out his contract a no-brainer for the Edmonton.
Thankfully we didn’t bring Ference into Edmonton to score fifty points a season rather to teach our young guns the way of the league, and to provide leadership for the franchise. Andrew did just that, and he showed our city how community-minded he can be. Ridicule me for beating a dead horse here, but Andrew Ference is a nice guy and I will never regret bringing him to Edmonton.
With that said, it WOULD have been nice to buy him out, and clear a little bit of cap space. That being said, if we look at the whole picture the last year of Ference’s contract is not our biggest problem right now. The reason we can’t buy his contract out is because of his long term hip injury. According to the CBA, a player cannot be bought out if he is on the IR, or LTIR for that matter. Ference had hip surgery back in March, but is still not cleared to play. CARTILAGE DOESN’T FIX ITSELF ALRIGHT! Actually it can, but it takes a long time, and that’s why we are where we are.
What’s A Buyout?
For those wondering about buyouts, here’s a quick rundown.
- Prior to buying out a player, the team must place said player on waivers. If the player doesn’t get picked up, then the contract can get bought out.
- A player who has been bought out immediately becomes a UFA.
- Injured players cannot be bought out, unless agreed upon by both parties.
- A buyout is paid over twice the amount of years remaining on the players contract, at the rate of 1/3 of the salary if he is under 26, and at a rate of 2/3 if he is over 26.
— OilersNation (@OilersNation) June 16, 2016
In the meantime, Andrew will get another year to chill in the Rogers Place press box, pig out on popcorn and deep fried pickles (oh man, please let their be deep fried pickles at Rogers Place), and maybe play a few games in the meantime. That being said, the entire Oilersnation will continue making Twitter trade proposals for a slightly used Andrew Ference to see if someone wants to take his last year from us. Don’t worry, guys, we’re working on it.
THE DRAFT PARTY
There are few certainties in life – we can always count on the sun coming up in the morning, Edmonton winters being dreadful, and the Oilers missing the playoffs. As such, we present the annual OilersNation Draft Party! It’s time to honour the the anniversary of drafting our beloved Connor, celebrate the rewards of another failed season, and raise some money for charity.
Here’s what you need to know…
The party is happening at the Pint Downtown on Friday, June 24th. The goal is to raise as much money as possible for the Red Cross and their efforts to bring normalcy back to Fort McMurray, and have a little bit of fun while we’re at it. For $30 you get a Draft Party t-shirt, a $10 Pint GC, a $10 Oodle Noodle GC, a draft party collectors cup, and a chance for prizes and eternal glory.
All proceeds from tickets sold will be donated directly to the Red Cross so bring your friends, get involved, and help us support a community in need. Tickets are still available here.
One day, the Oilers will be a good hockey team and we’ll all be able to laugh about this. Until then, we party.