Winger will play for AHL Houston

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Left winger Stephane Veilleux won't be heading to Russia after all. After rejecting the Minnesota Wild's offer last week to play in Houston with their American Hockey League affiliate, Veilleux signed with the AHL team Friday.

Veilleux had told the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Monday he was looking for more lucrative offers from teams in Russia. He wasn't satisfied with the $55,000 offer he received to play with the Houston Aeros. Veilleux told the newspaper he expected to sign a deal with one of the teams in Russia by the end of the week.

Veilleux's agent, Paul Corbeil, said Friday that Veilleux wanted to play with the Wild, even though he received better offers to play in Europe.

"He chose the Wild over the money this season. For him it's a step for the future," Corbeil said.

He wouldn't comment on the specifics of Veilleux's contract with the Aeros.

Corbeil said Veilleux deserved better than the original offer based on his performance with the team. The prospect 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 Corbeil said the NHL lockout affected Veilleux's decision to play with the Aeros for less money. Veilleux has been with the team since 2001.

"He wanted to stay with the team," he said. "He knows he will play with the Wild after the lockout."

Also signing with the Aeros on Friday were centers Dan Cavanaugh and Mark Cullen; left wingers Christoph Brandner and Jordan Krestanovich; right wingers Kirby Law, Jason Beckett and Kyle Wanvig; and defenseman Ray Giroux.