Andrew Ference Cannot Be Bought Out, and the Sky is Blue

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.
According to NHL Numbers, we would have to pay 2/3 of Andrew’s $3.25 million contract over a term of two years. Since we are unable to buy out Ference for the last year on his deal, we’ll be losing just over a million dollars in cap space. I hope this makes sense cause I’m REALLY good at overcomplicating math. Regardless, from where I sit, I think Peter Chiarelli has bigger problems to worry about than one last year of Ference. 

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.


Tuxedo layout 

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.

  • PhiDelt

    For a million dollar cap hit, I say that’s fine let him sit out his last year. His a good mentor and community man. Every team in the league needs a guy like him. For his salary its not like he is sitting at home drinking beer and playing video games all day. He is actually out working for the team and trying to show some value to the money they are paying.

  • Am I right?

    This is what Ference’s buyout would look like:

    Two thirds of salary of $3.750 = $2.166
    divided by 2 years = $1.083

    But if the salary is more than the cap hit, you can also minus that difference.
    $3.750 – $3.250 = $.500
    $1.083 – $.500 = $.583

    So IF you could buy him out, it would cost you only $.583 a year over 2 years.

    • camdog

      Likely cost us our first round pick if and when caught. I guess we could spend next years off season debating who we would have picked if we still had our pick.

      • Can’t help but think Mac-T guided him through the injury,surgery procedure to make sure he could not be bought out.(Maybe he finally read the CBA) The only thing Ference taught the youngsters was how to be a pylon in the defensive zone. He is now to me , just another one of the D-Bags of the old boys club that put this club in the sorry state it is today, if you can trade him(After his well timed surgery) to a team looking to get to the cap floor, make sure you send Lowe, Mac-T, and Howson with him.

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          i know it’s still a week away but i’m surprised that MacT and Howson, both of whom have been scouting for the Oilers, haven’t been fired yet like when they let Stu and his awful staff go just before the draft last year. whatever you do Chia, whomever MacT/Howson suggest the Oilers draft, do the opposite !!

          • I doubt that will happen. No indications from head office and that makes me nervous.I would not be surprised in the least if Chia gets fired in the future and then Mac-T will be trotted out as our new GM, because now Pete has trained him properly. Nothing would surprise me anymore. K-Lowe and his minions have proven they are clueless and any self respecting owner would have canned him and his unqualified buddies immediately after his arrogant 6 rings/two tier fan comments. Of course we have heard squat from DK since he pilfered his funds from the taxpayers and then immediately moved to Vancouver. I hope you’re assertion is correct, but history proves otherwise,I assume they will be reupped. We will know soon enough.

          • FISTO Siltanen

            Imagine being in a toxic relationship and the toxicity has spread to your significant others family and friends. It’s nobodies fault. Things happened but it makes your life a living hell.

            Common sense says you pull the plug and move on in life

            Howson, Lowe and MacT don’t have common sense.

          • But will they? You are correct, if you are in a toxic relationship even with family members, the relationship has to end for all parties to move forward. I am curious if Mac-T does get re upped, how many people are going to say enough is enough, I have already made up my mind, curious about what other peoples reactions would be?

    • justDOit

      ‘Assistant to the traveling secretary’ has a nice ring to it.

      Unfortunately, there are rules against giving out jobs like that to retired players. You can do it, but they have to be given realistic salary in their new job. Not sure what the norm is for ATTTS position though.

  • @Hallsy4

    Is there a deal to be made with MTL? They really want our 4th to get dubois, and we can take the best D man available at 9. I’d like to get PK in some large deal but I don’t see it happening. So in a 4 to 9 swap, , is there anything the Habs have to sweeten the deal for us that we want? The 4th and Yak for 9 and XX???

  • boil-in-the-oil

    I am most concerned about whether or not we will have to use one of the 3 very valuable spots to protect defensemen (in the upcoming expansion draft) on Ference. It’s my understanding players with a no-movement clause, require protection.

    This outcome would be disastrous.

    • Seanaconda

      This is canada they probably wanted to see if they could fix it with physical therapy first. And the oilers and ferance didn’t really care enough to pay for him to go to the states.

      If he is on ltr all next year it doesn’t really matter. Cap only counts before the season starts. So him being injured would be easier on the cap more so than buying him out wouldn’t it? Unless he makes a fuss out of saying he can play half way through the year but it’s his last year anyways

  • NewPants

    No worries.

    Ference and his contract will drift through the year without hitting the cap.
    It will end with the 2016-2017 season and the clouds will float on by. Like Chris the Intern says, “the sky is blue”.

    Go OIL!!!

  • camdog

    Generally the surgery takes from 4 to 6 months recovery time, which would Ference healthy before the season begins. It’s possible that it fails, but I haven’t read anything about the surgery not being successful.

    • Seanaconda

      Really think it’s cuz he and the oilers knew he was gonna be in the press box either way so they decided to use canadas health care which lots of time will mandate you try 4 or so months of physical therapy to see if it will fix the problem before resorting to surgery.

      That’s just from what I’ve seen other people have to deal with tho.

      And why rush it do we need what we would spend on him this year more than not having his cap hit at all the next year.

      Plus maybe they have a deal where they agreed he will say he’s not fit to play so no cap hit and he gets his cash.

    • Seanaconda

      Here I just googled it.

      Somewhere along the line, as he skated and tried to stay fit, his left hip began to ache. A few years ago, he needed surgery to repair a torn abductor muscle, and since then it has bothered him late in the season.

      This time, the pain came early. An MRI revealed a torn labrum, and at a surgeon’s advice he is waiting for swelling in the cartilage and bone to go down. He will have another test soon, and learn if he needs another operation.

      Doctor told him to wait. And he missed most of the first half of the season because he just wasn’t good. He was scratched he noticed his hip injury during practice. After not playing games for a while already.

    • Exactly my point. The very people that we entrust our franchise to to do due diligence, simply ensure that their jobs are safe , Ference is safe , etc. They do not operate in the best interests of the Oilers, they operate in the best interests of themselves and their buddies. Best remove them all and be done with it , or we can look forward to another decade of this *hit show.

  • GY99

    Really too bad about Ference, he is a great guy. Played summer hockey with him one summer when he was with Pittsburgh and he was great with all us want to be’s.

  • Total Points

    “to teach our young guns the way of the league.”

    He totally failed at this.

    I didn’t see our young guns get better at all, most got worse, Schultz, Petry, RNH, Eberle. Hall may have got better