The Post has confirmed its Monday report that the Devils have opened negotiations on a new contract for Zach Parise, against the backdrop of Friday's filing for club-requested arbitration

Parise could become a restricted free agent July 1 without a new deal, and club-requested arbitration is one means to prevent that occurrence.

"It's our intention to work towards signing him long-term," GM Lou Lamoriello said. "It represents a commitment. There's no question we want Zach here long-term. He knows he will be with us, and everybody will be more relaxed."

An arbitration hearing would not be held until late July or early August. Meanwhile, the sides are expected to continue negotiations, still in their initial stages.

The arbitration award, which would be a one-year deal that would allow Parise to become unrestricted July 1, 2012, permits the Devils walk-away rights that would make Parise immediately unrestricted, although that scenario seems highly unlikely.