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Devils avoid arbitration, sign Zach Parise to one-year deal; Long term deal awaits

Montreal Canadiens v New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 02: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils waits for a faceoff during an NHL hockey game against the Montreal Canadians at the Prudential Center on April 2, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

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It’s not the long term deal Zach Parise and the New Jersey Devils were hoping to get done, but it’s also not an arbitration settled contract either.

The Devils signed their young stud superstar to a one-year deal to help the two sides avoid going to arbitration and settle their differences. For Parise, getting in the team’s good graces will essentially earn him a spot in the future as the team’s captain and after undergoing knee surgery next year, he’s got a lot to prove this season to show that his rushed comeback last season didn’t negatively impact his recovery and his play on the ice.

Parise, before injuring his knee last season, was emerging as one of the best young scorers in the NHL. For four years straight, Parise scored 30+ goals including a career high of 45 goals in 2008-2009. In six seasons, Parise has 163 goals and 341 points so the Devils keeping him was virtually necessary.

Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice reports that Parise’s deal is worth $6 million. CapGeek now has the Devils at $2.5 million below the salary cap with his deal factored in. Parise will have to prove himself to make it a deal that should be as lucrative and lengthy as you’d think the Devils would give to a lifelong Devil forward. They’ll have to make sure to get that taken care of because Parise is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2012.

How this deal plays out should have a curious effect on how deals get done with other restricted free agents like Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, and Luke Schenn. Should those teams, especially Nashville with Weber who is headed to arbitration, take a nod from the Devils, we could go through this whole song and dance with them again next year.

For now, the Devils have their young stud taken care of and new coach Pete DeBoer can officially get planning on the upcoming season.