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Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs agree to ECHL affiliation extension

In May, the Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs announced they have agreed to terms on a three-year affiliation extension, with an option for two additional years, with the Indy Fuel of the ECHL. ECHL is the leading professional developmental league for the American Hockey League and National Hockey League.

“We are thrilled to renew our affiliation once again with the Indy Fuel,” said IceHogs President and General Manager of Hockey Operations Mark Bernard.

“For the past 10 seasons, the relationship between organizations has been productive and impactful. Jim Hallett, Larry McQueary, and Duncan Dalmao have always treated our players with the upmost professionalism, and we look forward to continuing our partnership.”

The Fuel, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, have been the Chicago Blackhawks ECHL affiliate since April 1, 2014, when they began as the League’s 23rd franchise.

They currently play home games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

2014 marked the return of professional hockey to Indianapolis following the 16-year run of the Indianapolis Ice, which operated from 1988-99 in the International Hockey League and 1999-2004 as a member of the Central Hockey League.

The Ice served as the primary affiliate for the Blackhawks from 1989-1998. In 2023-24, nine players saw action in both Indy and Rockford.

The Blackhawks said the Fuel have reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs in three of the last four seasons. Beginning in late 2024, the Fuel will play in Fishers, Indiana, inside the new Fishers Event Center.

Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper | + posts

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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