There is a reason that we have heard rumors about this change in affiliation months ago. The Wolves can bring to the table good things that the checkers could not. For one, the Checkers were enjoying a deeply discounted affiliation fee that the Wolves will not get. That is more money being brought in right off the bat.
The Wolves enjoy the heavy population of Chicago and even while competing with an NHL team, they are a cheaper alternative for hockey in the windy city and have enjoyed one of the best attendances in the AHL. I have to note however that it is only averaging around 600 fans more per game than Charlotte.
But that is a whole new set of fans that the Hurricanes are hoping can get attached to the prospects in the farm system and tune in to watch them play in the big league as they get called up. This would probably help with TV ratings.
Another thing to note here, however, is that the affiliation deal will be done on a one-year basis that might allow for a return to the Checkers if both organizations can bury the Hatchet. This means that some of these fans might not get to watch these prospects long enough to get attached.
Waddell has a history with the Wolves. As the GM of the Atlanta Thrashers, he was consistently calling up players from the Wolves, who were the affiliate of the Thrashers at that time. He hopes to use that old friendship to his advantage with this new deal.