Ilya Kovalchuk wants to return to the NHL next season, and the Devils have given him and his agent permission to seek a deal with other teams, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN.
New Jersey still holds the forward's rights as Kovalchuk left the NHL in the middle of his contract with the Devils.
LeBrun writes that Devils GM Ray Shero confirmed with Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman, that the 34-year old definitely wants to return to the NHL next season.
Shero told Grossman he is free to speak to other teams about a potential deal for the veteran, as the Devils are not opposed to doing a sign-and-trade for Kovalchuk. However, the deal must make sense for New Jersey.
Kovalchuk cannot sign an NHL contract until July 1.
In 60 games in the KHL last season, Kovalchuk looked fantastic, scoring 32 goals and 78 points in just 60 games.
He last played in the NHL in 2012-2013 with New Jersey, where he finished with 11 goals and 31 points in 37 games.