Young winger eyes Russian league

Updated: September 21, 2004, 6:21 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Left wing Stephane Veilleux has rejected the Minnesota Wild's offer to play in their American Hockey League affiliate this season.

Stephane Veilleux
Left Wing
Minnesota Wild
19 2 8 10 0 20

Unsatisfied with $55,000 in AHL money on the table, Veilleux told the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Monday he is weighing more lucrative offers from at least three teams in Russia and expects to sign a deal by the end of the week.

Veilleux's agent, Paul Corbeil, wasn't immediately available to comment Tuesday. Wild assistant general manager Tom Lynn declined to comment.

Veilleux, a prospect who's been in the Wild organization since 2001, scored 10 points in the Wild's final 19 games last season and was a leading candidate to earn a full-time NHL job this season.

But the labor lockout is threatening to derail this season and many players have chosen to play overseas.

In 170 games with Houston, Veilleux scored 34 goals among 85 points. During the 2003 Calder Cup playoffs, he led the Aeros with 18 points in 23 games as Houston won the AHL championship.

"I think I contributed a lot," Veilleux told the newspaper. "With all those things, the qualifying offer was disappointing.

"That's their decision. It's business, I guess."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press