Joonas Ronnberg will not make any immediate decision on whether he will play again for Sheffield Steelers.
The club tried to persuade the “homesick” defenceman to stay, but he has not quit the club to return to his family in Finland.
Steelers said they had spoken to him about playing in the Continental Cup but the skater suggested it was too early for him to commit to that.
As the search goes on for a replacement, Ronnberg recognised the “awesome” way fans had supported him, even when they knew he had made his decision to leave.
He also paid tribute to the “nice, professional and smart” style of management at the club, currently second in the League table.