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Devils expect to sign Larsson soon: report @NHLdotcom

The New Jersey Devils expect to sign defenseman Adam Larsson before their arbitration hearing on July 29.

General manager Ray Shero told that negotiations continue on a long-term deal but the sides could settle on a two-year contract.

"I think we'll get a deal done," Shero said on Friday. "We have time before the arbitration date certainly and we'll see where that leads us, but the goal with [Eric] Gelinas was to try to agree to a deal we're both happy with and it's the same thing with Larsson. I had a conversation with [agent] J.P. Barry again [Thursday] and I hope within the next few days to have an idea where we're going. We've talked about a lot of different things."

Shero said the Devils would request a two-year arbitration award if it comes to that. Larsson, 22, had NHL career highs of three goals and 21 assists last season, improving greatly in the second half. He was the fourth pick of the 2011 NHL Draft.

"[Adam is] guy we would certainly like to sign if we could, if it makes sense to a longer term, and if not [two years] is the fallback for both parties," Shero said.

Twenty-three players were scheduled for an arbitration hearing; 13 remain on the schedule. Gelinas is one of the 10 who signed before his hearing, agreeing to a two-year, $3.15 million contract on July 14.

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