INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Fuel and Chicago Blackhawks have finalized terms on a five-year affiliation agreement, pairing the ECHL’s newest Member with the defending NHL Stanley Cup champions when pro hockey returns to Indiana’s capital in October.
“We are honored to be joining the Blackhawks’ family, a truly first-class organization with which we share a common philosophy of the game, direction for the team and mutual commitment to our communities,” said Fuel President Sean Hallett. “Chicago already has a strong fan base in Indianapolis, and the Blackhawks are a winning organization with a strong emphasis on the development of up-and-coming young talent.”
“We are excited to begin this new partnership with the Fuel,” said Chicago Blackhawks Director of Hockey Administration and General Manager of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard. “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.”
“As we reignite the spirit of professional hockey in Indianapolis, there’s no better situation for us than working with the defending Stanley Cup champion, one of the ‘Original Six’ franchises,” Hallett added. “We expect the affiliation with the Blackhawks to take our fans’ excitement to another level – and because Chicago has been so successful in adding talent through the draft, we’re confident this move will help us put an exciting and competitive team on the ice for years to come.”