Oilers' Ference not yet cleared to play, can't be bought out

Sergei Belski / USA TODAY Sports

Even if they wanted to, the Edmonton Oilers can't use a buyout on veteran defenseman Andrew Ference.

The 37-year-old has not been cleared to play following hip surgery in March, meaning he's exempt from having the final year of his contract bought out, agent Kurt Overhardt confirmed.

"He's not cleared to play ice hockey and a cartilage repair takes a long time," Overhardt told Jim Matheson of The Edmonton Journal. "He's nowhere near being cleared so it's not even an issue. If you are hurt, you're hurt. He has to be able to run, he has to be able to skate."

The Oilers would have saved $2,166,667 in cap space for 2016-17 if Ference had been healthy.

Ference was limited to six games due to injury last season, and may not have a guaranteed spot on the roster if and when he's cleared to return. Whether his captaincy is removed in the meantime remains to be seen.

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Oilers' Ference not yet cleared to play, can't be bought out
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