Hawks change ECHL affiliation to Indy Fuel

The Chicago Blackhawks announced Tuesday they signed a five-year affiliation agreement with the Indy Fuel of the ECHL.

The Fuel will begin their inaugural season in Indianapolis in October. The Blackhawks return to Indiana after being previously affiliated with the Indianapolis Ice from 1989-1998.

The Blackhawks’ contract with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL expires after this season. The Walleye have been affiliated with the Blackhawks since 2009.

"We are excited to begin this new partnership with the Indy Fuel," Chicago Blackhawks director of hockey administration and general manager of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard said in a statement. "The Blackhawks and the city of Indianapolis have a history of developing many players that have had successful National Hockey League careers and we look forward to doing the same with the Fuel and our deep group of talented prospects. The Blackhawks would also like to thank Joe Napoli, Nick Vitucci and the entire Toledo Walleye organization and their fans for a successful affiliation over the past five seasons."

The Blackhawks had previous ECHL affiliation agreements with the Fresno Falcons (2008-09), Pensacola Ice Pilots (2007-08), Greenville Grrrowl (2004-06), Roanoke Express (2002-03), Jackson Bandits (2001-02) and Columbus Chill (1995-99).