EVANSVILLE, IN – Sports teach us a lot of things about ourselves. As fans of any given team we endure pain, misery, frustration and heartache. We hope for triumph, happiness, and victory. It’s a microcosm of the human spirit really. If top-level professional championships have taught us anything, (looking at you NBA & MLB) it’s that the desire to win can overcome any pile of hurdles that stand in a team’s way.
That brings me to one of my favorite clips from a Monty Python movie. Have you seen the “I’m not dead yet” from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail? It’s my go-to meme whenever a sports team is on the brink of doom and starts to show some signs of life. The point is, when fans are ready to throw a team on the cart and ship them off for dead, they just might be fine. Welcome to the new look of the Evansville Thunderbolts.
Welcome to the new look of the Evansville Thunderbolts.
To say the beginning of the inaugural season for the Thunderbolts has been underwhelming would be an understatement. After eight games the team is 0-6-2. At the time of this being written, they score a league-worst 2.25 goals per game. On top of that, they are giving up a league-worst 4 goals per game. I know the road is long during any season, but as an eight-game snapshot, this is a worst case scenario.
Evansville has had a very busy week retooling the roster in hopes of turning around the bad start and bringing some life to the winless team. To recap:
Gone – Daniel Vernace, John Daniels
Added – Geordie Wudrick, Luke Eibler, Josh Harris, Mike Radisa, Justin MacDonald
Justin MacDonald is the most recognizable name to Evansville, having logged 55 games as a member of the IceMen. He brings ECHL level talent to the winger position. Mike Radisa has played five games already for the Thunderbolts, but now has a contract.
The names acquired for John Daniels address multiple issues the team has had. Wudrick is a big forward who has played for both the IceGators and the Missouri Mavericks of the ECHL. Luke Eibler had notched four assists in only seven games played for Peoria before the trade. Harris had 23 goals two seasons ago in Peoria and has three assists in seven games for Peoria so far this year.
The three for one trade brought to the Thunderbolts all talent capable of strong play at the SPHL level. It’s the type of move that was necessary if Evansville wants to not only pick up its first win, but start to compile a bunch of them. Remember, eight of the ten teams in the league will make the playoffs. Hope will not be lost at the Ford Center for a long time to come. You never know, this team just might not be dead yet.