Fond farewells and thankful tributes for MK Lightning 2016-2017 champions.
As Head Coach Pete Russell focuses on building his Elite team, he is also announcing releases and taking the opportunity to thank all of the players involved in MK Lightning’s phenomenally successful 2016-2017 season.
Fans will bid fond farewells to the following players for the 2017-2018 season:
Having joined in 2003 and after 14 consecutive seasons with MKL, “Carsy” leaves for pastures new.  The 32 year old veteran has contested more games in Lightning colours than any other player, including a memorable testimonial game two seasons ago.
Defenceman Michael Farn leaves with the benefit of eight seasons’ experience at MK, as well as having represented Great Britain at junior level.
Alternate Captain Leigh Jamieson’s hockey career began with MK’s junior network, Milton Keynes Storm. He then played with MK Kings before joining Lightning, in their formation year, in 2002.  He has earned selection for Team GB at both junior and senior level, most recently at Olympic pre-qualifying level in 2012. He has also represented Belfast Giants and Coventry Blaze.
Craig Scott carved out his hockey career in Canada, rising to prominence with MKL rivals Peterborough in the 2015-16 season, before signing for Lightning a season later.  Craig has made a name for himself as a playmaker and as a goal-scorer, following in the footsteps of his father Paddy, a well-loved MK legend.
Scot Lewis Christie has experienced both Team GB and Lightning ice-time, with 9 seasons with MK under his belt. Christie’s ability to read the game and deadly mid-ice hip check will be major assets for his next team.
Fellow Scot, Jordan Cownie, became a fan favourite due to his speed, link up play with other forwards and for regularly hitting the back of opposition nets.  He came onto the Lightning radar after an impressive debut EPL season in Peterborough, transferring to Milton Keynes the following year and staying for four seasons.
James Neil made an immediate impact on MKL’s defensive lines after signing for Lightning after his previous club, the Manchester Phoenix, folded. He also proved himself as a valuable player in MK’s play-off triumph in April.
Commenting on the players released today, Coach 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.”