The Blackhawks have purchased the Rockford IceHogs, which has been their American Hockey League affiliate since the 2007-08 season. The news was made official on Wednesday in a press conference at BMO Harris Bank Center.
"For the past 14 years, the Rockford IceHogs have been an invaluable asset as an affiliate for the development of our players and staff at the Chicago Blackhawks," President of Hockey Operations and GM Stan Bowman said in a statement. "We look forward to continuing to use the IceHogs as an extension of the Blackhawks to reinvigorate our roster with talent that is built from within, develop our young players and create depth throughout our system."
The agreement will keep the IceHogs in Rockford until at least 2036.
Governor JB Pritzker, the Blackhawks, the city of Rockford and the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) also announced a $23 million renovation plan for BMO Harris Bank Center that will generate $382 million in net spending and retain 358 jobs of the next 15 years.
"The Rockford IceHogs have played a critical role in our franchise’s success, and today, the IceHogs officially become a part of the Chicago Blackhawks family," Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz and CEO Danny Wirtz said in a statement. "Not only is this an exciting opportunity from a hockey perspective, but in partnership with the City of Rockford and the State of Illinois, we are reinvesting in Illinois to generate positive economic as well as philanthropic impact through our Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, further solidifying the team’s standing in the community."