Releasing poplular netminder Przemyslaw Odrobny was 'one of the hardest decisions' of Lightning coach Pete Russell's career.
The 32-year-old Pole left Lightning by mutual consent on Wednesday after two seasons at the club.
Known as 'The Wall', Odrobny quickly became a cult hero at Lightning, helping them to the league and cup double last season.
But after sustaining an injury in one of the opening fixtures this season, the club signed Miika Wiikman as cover for Odrobny, with promising young British talent Jordan Hedley already signed as backup, further limiting his chances of playing.
Head Coach Russell said: “I met with Shemy and listened to his concerns and I have not taken this decision lightly - in fact it’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. But it's the best decision for all parties and we move on.
“Shemy needs to be playing full time to keep his levels up for club action and for the Polish national team.
“Along with everyone else at the Lightning, I want to thank Shemy for everything during his time at the Lightning on and off the ice, and we wish him absolutely every success in his next challenge.”
Odrobny added: “I’m sad to be leaving Milton Keynes Lightning but I need more ice time to develop myself and show my abilities. I’ve been offered an opportunity with another club in another league, where I can develop my skills even more.
“I would like to say thank you to all the fans and the organisation over the past two seasons. I have met some many great people during my career with Lightning. Milton Keynes has allowed me to grow both as a player and person and I wish my teammates all the success this coming season.
“Milton Keynes Lightning will always have a place in my heart and I hope maybe I will be back here in the future!”