Blackhawks

Blackhawks Sign ECHL’s Indy Fuel As Affiliate

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane celebrates his first period goal against the Buffalo Sabres with teammates Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus at First Niagara Center on March 9, 2014 in Buffalo, New York.  The Blackhawks defeated the Sabres 2-1.  (Photo by Sean Rudyk/Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane celebrates his first period goal against the Buffalo Sabres with teammates Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus at First Niagara Center on March 9, 2014 in Buffalo, New York. The Blackhawks defeated the Sabres 2-1. (Photo by Sean Rudyk/Getty Images)

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(CBS) The Blackhawks have signed a five-year affiliation agreement with the ECHL expansion franchise Indy Fuel, the team announced Tuesday.

The ECHL is the “leading professional developmental league” for the NHL and AHL, according to the team’s release.

The Indy Fuel are based in Indianapolis.

“We are excited to begin this new partnership with the Indy Fuel,” said Mark Bernard, the Blackhawks’ director of hockey administration and general manager of minor league affiliations. “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.”