Eric Lindros signed a one-year, $1.55 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday.

Lindros, an Ontario native, has been linked to the team for years. But their on-again, off-again courtship was not completed until yesterday.

Lindros, 32, played 39 games for the New York Rangers in 2003-04, collecting 10 goals and 22 assists with 60 penalty minutes.

The six-time all-star won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player in 1994-95. He has 356 career goals and 461 assists but hasn't been the same player since suffering a series of concussions. . . .

The Boston Bruins re-signed star center Joe Thornton to a new three-year contract.

Terms of the deal with Thornton, a restricted free agent, were not announced. The signing eliminates the possibility of the Bruins' captain becoming an unrestricted free agent after the coming season.

Since the NHL lockout ended last month, the Bruins were able to pursue free agents because they had only four players under contract and plenty of money to spend. They added defenseman Brian Leetch and forwards Alexei Zhamnov, Shawn McEachern and Doug Scatchard. They also re-signed forwards Glen Murray and Sergei Samsonov, and acquired left wing Brad Isbister from Edmonton.

* AUTO RACING: Reed Sorenson, a hotshot 19-year-old Busch Series driver, will run a full Nextel Cup schedule next season in a fourth team for Chip Ganassi Racing, two people within the team told the Associated Press.

A formal announcement was scheduled for today at Watkins Glen International in New York, and the two sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that Sorenson would be introduced as driver of the No. 41 Dodge. They did not want to be identified before Sorenson's official introduction.

Casey Mears, meantime, will remain with Ganassi in a different car, the sources said. The car number has not yet been determined, but the sponsor will be mortgage lender Home123.

* COLLEGE BASKETBALL: A player who transferred from Temple to Division II Cheyney was shot in the head early yesterday in Philadelphia. Micheal Blackshear, 21, of North Philadelphia, was pronounced dead shortly before 3 a.m. Investigators said Blackshear was shot once in the head by an unknown person who escaped in a dark-colored sedan.

Blackshear, a 6-foot-6 forward, transferred in January. He had been suspended from Temple's basketball team in October, just days before the start of preseason practices.

He did not play at Cheyney last semester but was expected to play in the fall. . . .

Catholic hired Margaret Carey as its women's coach. Carey, who replaces Maggie Lonergan, spent the last four seasons as an assistant at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey. She is a 2001 graduate of Mount St. Mary's.

* YOUTH SOFTBALL: McLean scored in the eighth inning to defeat Gilroy, Calif., 12-11, in the opening game of the Little League of Softball World Series in Portland, Ore. Jillian Falle struck out five and Jamie Bell contributed three singles and two RBI. McLean will play Louisville tomorrow.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports