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Tony Sargent
With the player transfer market in full swing, MK Lightning have announced further player releases, this time for four international players from the 2016-17 roster.
Czech forward Frankie Bakrlik’s no-nonsense style made him a firm favourite with fans, and from the moment he signed with Lightning, he made an immediate impact. Frankie has extensive experience, having played in Eastern Europe, North America, the UK’s Elite League and EPL, ensuring that he will undoubtedly be an asset to the team fortunate enough to sign him next.
Mikolaj Lopuski was a consistently influential player, despite sustaining an injury and enduring a long lay-off early on in the season, a testament to his strength and determination.  His performance before and after his injury strongly suggests that his goal tally would have been much higher had it not been for his enforced recuperation. Clearly a fully-fit Miko is a force to be reckoned with.
Finn Antti Hölli from HC Martin in Slovakia provided cover for Miko whilst he recuperated. Antti’s speed and skilful hands instantly impressed knowledgable Lightning fans. Even after Lopuski’s return, he remained a favourite with the team, staying until the end of the season.
Milan Baranyk made his name in the British game with MK rivals Peterborough. After joining Lightning, he proved to be an important member of the double trophy winning team. Milan proved equally efficient setting up goals, as scoring them as part of Lightning’s offensive threat.
Commenting on the four departing players, Coach Pete Russell said: “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! On behalf of the club and the fans, a massive thank you to each of these great players. I wish them and their families every possible success as they move on to new teams and new challenges.”