Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington Illinois
Photo credit: ECHL

BREAKING: New Expansion Team Heading To Chicago

Published January 17, 2024 at 10:03

The East Coast Hockey League, or ECHL made a major announcement today as the league continues their All-Star celebrations. The most recent announcement could have implications on the NHL as well.

Chicago Area Gets ECHL Expansion Team Starting In 2024-25 Season

The league announced today that a new expansion team would be coming to the Chicago area starting next season. So far, the league has not released any further details including the team name or possible NHL affiliations.

The #ECHL Board of Governors has approved an Expansion Membership for Bloomington, Illinois to begin play in the 2024-25 Season.

The move comes as more and more NHL teams look to fill out their farm systems with a third-tier team. Currently, some NHL teams have ECHL affiliates and some do not. The Blackhawks are currently affiliated with the Indy Fuel, which are owned by the same ownership group that has purchased the new expansion team.

The team, which will begin play in the 2024-25 season, will be owned by Hallett Sports and Entertainment, which also owns and operates the Indy Fuel and newly expanded Fishers Freight football team as part of the Indoor Football League.

it is unclear whether or not this team will replace the Fuel as the Blackhawks affiliate, but it is certainly possible as affiliations with the lower tier pro leagues can change affiliations frequently, especially in the ECHL. Stay tuned for updates as this story develops over the coming months.
January 17   |   603 answers
BREAKING: New Expansion Team Heading To Chicago

Should each NHL team have an ECHL affiliate?

Yes38263.3 %
All or None9716.1 %
No12420.6 %
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