Cardiff Devils managing director Todd Kelman admits he was stunned when forward Justin Faryna approached him to leave the club.
The former Dundee Stars man has decided to move on for personal reasons, but leaves with medals from winning the Elite League and the play-offs.
And Kelman thanked the 30-year-old for the contribution he made since signing for them in the summer of 2017.
“This came as a big shock to us,” he said. “Faryna has been a big part of our team since he arrived ahead of the 2017-18 season.
“He played a massive role in our success last season and was hugely popular with our fanbase.
“I know they will be saddened to see him go, as we all are, but there is life outside of hockey and this is a decision bigger than this game.
“On behalf of the entire organisation, I would like to thank Justin for his contribution to the Devils and wish him well for wherever life takes him.”
Faryna signed from the Stars after helping them reach the play-off finals in 2017 and made 84 appearances, scoring 30 goals and assisting with 11 for the Devils.
He also played in the last two Champions Hockey League campaigns and although had struggled with injury earlier this season, he had recently returned to the team.
The Devils have also announced he won’t be in the line-up when they take on Guildford Flames on Wednesday at the Viola Arena.