NEWARK, N.J.– The New Jersey Devils have filed for arbitration with restricted free agent Zach Parise.
Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said Friday the team made the move to protect its rights, adding it will continue to work to sign the star left wing to a long-term contract.
"He knows that," Lamoriello said. "Everything has been amicable as far as the talks. We will continue to work toward a long-term agreement."
The move means that Parise, who earned $5 million last season, will be awarded a one-year contract in arbitration and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2012, unless he reaches a new deal with New Jersey.
Parise missed most of this past season after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee in early November. He returned late in the season for a game. Prior to his injury, Parise had been the catalyst of the Devils' offense for four seasons, scoring 146 goals.
Lamoriello gave no clues as to when the Devils will hire a coach to replace the retired Jacques Lemaire. He added there is no extra presure to get a new coach on board before the draft next Friday, when the Devils will have the fourth pick overall.
New Jersey missed the playoffs this past season for the first time since 1996.
The Devils have played coaching musical chairs since 2005, with no coach lasting more than two seasons. John MacLean started this past season and was replaced by Lemaire in December with the team in the bottom of the standings.
Lemaire had retired after the 2009-10 season, ending his second stint with the franchise after one season. He came out of retirement as a favor to Lamoriello.