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Blackhawks agree to 3-year affiliation extension with ECHL’s Indy Fuel

Chicago and Indy began the partnership in 2014.

The Blackhawks agreed to terms on a three-year affiliation extension with the Indy Fuel of the ECHL through the 2021-22 season on Thursday.

“Since our partnership began in 2014, the Indy Fuel organization and Chairman Jim Hallett have done an exceptional job developing prospects in our organization for the next level,” Chicago Blackhawks Vice President of Hockey Operations/Team Affiliates Mark Bernard said in a release. “We are excited to continue our relationship with the Fuel and look forward to the continued growth of players in our system who pass through Indy.”

Last season, nine players skated with both Indy and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, including Radovan Bondra, Matheson Iacopelli, Kevin Lankinen, Neil Manning, Josh McArdle, Connor Moynihan, Dmitry Osipov, Spencer Watson and Brett Welychka.

The Fuel — who play their home games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum — have made the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in 2018, but were swept in four games by Toledo. Indy missed the postseason by two points this past season and “mutually parted ways” with head coach Bernie John in April.

Indy has yet to name a new head coach.