The Elite League have announced they will have 10 teams for 2019/20 after a proposal to bring back a Milton Keynes franchise was rejected.
There was hope that a new team would be in place for the new campaign to keep the numbers at 11, but after a presentation by the consortium behind it, the proposal was rejected.
However chairman Tony Smith hasn’t ruled out another attempt to bring them or any other team on board for 2020/21.
He said in a statement on the EIHL website: “We would like to thank the new consortium who made every endeavour to keep Elite League Ice Hockey in Milton Keynes alive within a very short time frame.
“Unfortunately, on this occasion the timing was not right and after thorough examination of the business plan, the league’s board was unable to approve the new franchise at this stage. This is however not the end of the road.
“We will be accepting applications from any interested parties to join the Elite League for the 2020/21 season from the beginning of August, and hope that we will have further opportunity to discuss EIHL hockey in Milton Keynes.”
The league have confirmed, with 10 teams now taking part, it will be a 54-game campaign with each team playing each other three times each home and away.
Further details regarding the Challenge Cup will be announced next month following the fixtures meeting.