While other teams made blockbuster moves in the first three days of the NHL's free-agent season, the San Jose Sharks moved to fortify their depth by signing two defensive forwards Monday.

The Sharks signed nine-year veteran Mike Grier to a three-year deal worth a reported $5.3 million. Grier said the contract includes a no-trade clause. Additionally, the Sharks signed checking center Curtis Brown, a member of the Sharks during the late stages of the 2003-04 season.

One transaction the Sharks didn't make was a trade for Chris Pronger of the Oilers, who was dealt to the Ducks. "The three players they (Oilers) were asking for were all very good young players on our team," Sharks GM Doug Wilson said. "They (Oilers) made it very, very easy to say no."

The signings are aimed at filling holes created last weekend when the Sharks lost free-agent forwards Scott Thornton and Alyn McCauley, who signed with the Los Angeles Kings.

Grier, 31, had seven goals and 23 points in 81 games last season with Buffalo.

Typically he played on a line against the opposing team's most dangerous offensive players.

Asked what he brings to the Sharks, Grier said, "There's a lot of young talent on the team, a lot of skill and scoring ability. Maybe they're looking for a little more grit and size on the wing and maybe somebody a little bit older."

The 30-year-old Brown became a free agent when the Chicago Blackhawks bought him out after he completed the first two years of a four-year contract.


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He said he signed a two-year deal totaling $1.4 million.

Pronger went from Edmonton to Anaheim for right wing Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Ladislav Smid and three future draft picks, including a first-round pick in 2007.

Steve Yzerman, the Red Wings' longtime captain who played his entire 22-year NHL career with Detroit and led them to three Stanley Cups, is retiring at age 41.

BASKETBALL

Free-agent center Ben Wallace is leaving the Detroit Pistons to sign with the Chicago Bulls, a person within the NBA said.

The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because NBA free agents can't officially sign contracts until July 12, said the Pistons offered Wallace a four-year contract worth about $50 million. That would have made him the highest-paid player on the team next season with a salary of $11.5 million. "I appreciate everything Detroit did for me and my family," Wallace told the Detroit News on Monday night. ... Top draft pick Patrick O'Bryant will be on the Warriors summer league squad in Las Vegas that starts Friday at UNLV, the team announced Monday. Warriors assistant coach Mario Elie will serve as the head coach. ... The Atlanta Hawks have reportedly reached a four-year, $25 million deal with former Warriors guard Speedy Claxton.

CYCLING

Norway's Thor Hushovd reclaimed the overall Tour de France lead from American George Hincapie during a sweltering ride in which Australia's Robbie McEwen captured the second stage in a sprint finish in the 137-mile stage in Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.