Grant McPherson admitted quitting ice hockey was one of the hardest decisions of his life after he called time on his MK Lightning playing career.
The 29-year-old, a veteran of 10 years in Lightning colours, recently enjoyed a testimonial in his honour, but hangs up his skates after 533 appearances.
The Scot will remain a familiar face at the MK Arena though, taking on a role in Pete Russell’s coaching staff.
McPherson will be remembered as one of Lightning’s most uncompromising players, but insisted it was with a heavy-heart that he retired from playing.
“To stop playing was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made,” he said.
“Ice Hockey has been a part of my life since I was seven years old and the last 10 years in the colours of Milton Keynes Lightning have just been incredible.
“However, with the standard of the EPL getting higher and higher each season, more time is required for things like practice and workout sessions - and with my current job at Volkswagen, the playing side was becoming harder and harder to handle.
“I really didn’t want to just cut ice hockey out of my life completely, so I’m really grateful to Pete for giving me this opportunity to stay involved.
“Having had a little insight into the coaching side last year when I was out injured, I know it’s going to be good fun assisting both Pete and Cliff next season, in what will hopefully be a very successful year, before we make the big move to the Elite League.
“As sad as it is for me to say that my Lightning playing days are over, I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge.”
Pete Russell paid tribute to Grant, saying: “Grant McPherson is a legend here - and rightfully so.
“I’ve known for some time that Grant was considering hanging up his skates but being the person he is, he didn’t want to make a big deal of it. It’s not about Grant McPherson, it’s about the Lightning logo on front of the jersey.”