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Young winger eyes Russian league

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

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."