Familiar Face Devos Unsure of Future


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Signed to a tryout deal last month, Philip-Michael Devos joined the Syracuse Crunch with no idea about the length of his stay.

A Calder Cup champion with the Lightning's affiliate in Norfolk, Devos spent all of last season with the Crunch and played all 18 playoff games on Syracuse's run to the Calder Finals. He was not re-signed in the offseason and ended up with the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL, but with the injury bug taking bites out of the Crunch lineup, Tampa Bay looked for a familiar face to fill in.

"We brought him up because he could be a useful player for us," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler of Devos. "He can play in all kinds of different situations, and what we liked was that he's familiar with how we play, and he's familiar with our guys and our culture. He seamlessly fit right in."

Devos has registered a goal and an assist in his first eight games with the Crunch this season. The 23-year-old was originally used to center a checking line, but was moved up to a scoring line with Brett Connolly and Danick Gauthier last week.

"I'm just glad to be here; things haven't changed that much," Devos said. "I'm just here to help, work hard and do my best."

Devos was used in many different roles last season -- from top line to fourth line -- and finished with 26 points in 70 regular season games, then added five assists in 18 postseason contests.

In 14 games with Elmira this season, Devos netted a goal and eight helpers. Although he enjoyed his time with the Jackals, the Quebec native is hoping to stick with the Crunch.

"I want to stay here as long as possible," Devos said. "I'm doing my best to help the team win, and I think that's what's going to help me stay here longer. I'm just going practice-by-practice, game-by-game doing my best and hopefully I'll stay here as long as possible."

With lots of moving parts in terms of injuries, call-ups and other transactions, both Devos and the Crunch just have to wait and see how things shake out.

"He's a good fit for now," Zettler said. "He's been positive, he's worked hard and has done all the right things for us. We'll see where it goes."