Captain Adam Carr lead the list of players departing MK Lightning as their dramatic reshuffle continued this morning with the release of 11 men from their roster.
The 32-year-old skipper played for 14 seasons at Planet Ice, but was deemed surplus to requirements as Pete Russell looks to build a squad capable of competing in the Elite League next season.
Carr was joined out the door by Michael Farn, Leigh Jamieson, Craig Scott, Lewis Christie, Jordan Cownie and James Neil. Coach Russell also allowed his international stars from last season to leave too, with Frankie Bakrlik, Mikolaj Lopuski, Antti Holli and Milan Baranyk all leaving the team.
While the wholesale changes will make Lightning look a whole new entity for the fans next season, Russell said making the cuts was one of the 'toughest parts' of the job.
Russell said: “On behalf of the club and the fans, I would like to thank all of these guys for their fantastic form and commitment. Without them our new adventure into the Elite League simply would not have been possible. Special mention has to go to Captain Carr, as well as to Farny, Jamo and Lewey.
"These guys are MK Lightning legends and are now part of our club history forever.
“Next season will bring with it a new, more intense schedule, and we all knew that the team would need to change. It's one of the toughest parts of the promotion to swallow. But it's hockey life. What’s important is that we give these players the praise and thanks due to them for their part in our fantastic journey.
"All of these players finished as Champions and no one can ever take that away. We wish them all the very best for the future. I’m sure they will add value to their new clubs and be successful wherever they go.
“I would like to thank every one of my players for their part in the immense successful chapter they helped create in this great club’s history. To win one championship is brilliant. To win two is phenomenal!
"I wish them and their families every possible success as they move on to new teams and new challenges.”