Compiled from wire reports
Kittel claims stage, Froome retains lead
• Sky’s Chris Froome kept the overall lead as Marcel Kittel of Argos-Shimano outsprinted Mark Cavendish to win the 12th stage of the Tour de France by half a wheel after a crash on the approach to the finish. Kittel passed Cavendish in the final 200 meters of the 135-mile stage from Fougeres to Tours for his third win this year.
Kovalchuk leaves NHL, $77 million
• Superstar forward Ilya Kovalchuk stunned the New Jersey Devils, retiring from the NHL to return to his native Russia. Kovalchuk, 30, walked from $77 million left on the 15-year contract that he signed with New Jersey in 2010. He missed 11 games this season with a shoulder injury.
• The Carolina Hurricanes agreed to terms with right wing Aaron Palushaj, defenseman Michal Jordan and goaltender Mike Murphy.
Nets, Kirilenko set on two-year deal
• The Brooklyn Nets agreed to terms with free-agent forward Andrei Kirilenko, according to a league source. The deal is reportedly for two years, the second being a player option, with Kirilenko getting the mini midlevel exception of $3.18 million.
• The Denver Nuggets bolstered their frontcourt by signing free-agent forward J.J. Hickson to a three-year deal. The 24-year-old bruiser is coming off his best season last year in Portland when he averaged 12.7 points.
• The Dallas Mavericks signed free-agent point guard Jose Calderon. Agent Mark Bartelstein said last week the contract was worth $29 million over four seasons.
• The Detroit Pistons decided to bring back Chauncey Billups. Billups has agreed to a two-year deal for $2.5 million a year.
• Manu Ginobili signed his contract with the Spurs and will be joined in San Antonio next season by Marco Belinelli, who averaged 9.6 points last season for Chicago.
• The Brooklyn Nets re-signed Andray Blatche and signed former Cavaliers guard Shaun Livingston.
Patriots’ Dennard is arrested again
• Defensive back Alfonzo Dennard of the New England Patriots was arrested Thursday in Nebraska and accused of driving drunk in the state where he once starred as a defensive back. Dennard, 24, was pulled over just before 2 a.m. Thursday and failed a field sobriety test, police said.
• Wide receiver Charly Martin was released by the Seattle Seahawks, who also claimed long snapper Kyle Nelson off waivers.
— From wire reports