Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic have let Silver Fern Grace Rasmussen go, as they try and secure other key players for next year's national premiership.
Rasmussen, 29, has played 46 tests for New Zealand since her debut for the national side in 2010, but won't feature in coach Margaret Forsyth's team next year.
"It's one of those things in professional sport and it's a big loss for us," Forsyth said. "There are repercussions if you go outside the salary cap, like losing competition points, and that will be the challenge for every coach."
The Magic missed out on the play-offs for the first time in 15 years this season and will be desperate to retain other crucial talent, alongside captain Casey Kopua.
Silver Ferns midcourter Samantha Sinclair, young defender Kelly Jury and South African goal shoot Lenize Potgieter will be priority signings for the franchise.
"It's really important that we retain the anchors of the side, but I'm confident we will have a really good team," Forsyth said. "We had a young side in 2017 and there is only one way for them to go, so the more experience they have, the better they will get."
The Magic coach also believes the competition will be more even in 2018.
The champion Southern Steel will be without their Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who has shifted to Australia, and standout goal keep Jane Watson.
"I look at the Steel that performed so well this year and that was a culmination of four years of hard work," Forsyth said. "We all know that champions are not made overnight - you have to toil, suffer and learn."
All six New Zealand franchises have until August 24 to complete their rosters.