Ron Hextall, 35, who helped send the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals 12 years ago when he was the league's best goalie, retired yesterday and will become a scout for the team.

"There's a million things in a bowl that I kind of grinded together and it all came out pointing to the fact that it was time to move on," Hextall said at a news conference at the Flyers' training camp in Voorhees, N.J.

Hextall said he had been offered a deal to play with the Flames, but chose the job with the Flyers. He cited ongoing hip problems and family concerns for not wanting to leave Philadelphia. "I didn't want to be a guy who kind of hung on," he said. . . .

Fs Valeri Zelepukin and Craig Berube signed one-year deals with the Flyers.

YASHIN DISPUTE: The Senators threatened to sue holdout C Alexei Yashin as their dispute over a contract extension continued. Senators GM Marshall Johnston also rejected the latest contract proposal from Yashin and his agent, Mark Gandler, and announced the suspension of the holdout center.

In a prepared statement, Johnston confirmed he met with Gandler over the weekend but stood firm on the team's stance that Yashin would not get a new deal. The Senators also threatened legal action should Yashin skip the season.

BLUES SOLD: Wal-Mart heirs Bill and Nancy Laurie have purchased the Blues and Kiel Center. Terms of the sale, announced in a statement released by the team, were not immediately disclosed.

DEAL: The Penguins signed C Jan Hrdina, whose 42 points last season placed him fourth among NHL rookies.