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Carchidi Column: Flyers Fans Can Relax; GM’s Priorities in Order



Joel Farabee, Philadelphia Flyers
Joel Farabee, a Flyers winger who has 11 goals, goes hard to the net in a game against the New York Islanders last month. Photo: AP.

Some Philadelphia Flyers fans are concerned. With the surprising Flyers in the playoff hunt, they are stressed that first-year general manager Danny Briere will be a buyer before the March 8 trade deadline — and that some valuable draft picks will be dealt.

Memo to those fans: Stop worrying.

Briere will not mortgage the future just to possibly sneak into the playoffs.

In short, Briere gets it. He is in for the long haul. Stockpiling high draft picks — not trading them — is what the Flyers need to do, he believes.

“We’re not going to be buyers,”  said Briere, whose Flyers have two selections in both the first and second rounds in the 2024 draft. “This team has played well and meshed together, but we’re not in a position where we can let assets go to try to make a run. It’s just not where we are now in our timeline.”

Don’t get the wrong idea. Briere would love for his hustling, hard-working team to make the playoffs this season. But he’s not going to be shortsighted to make that happen.

So the Flyers, who are 16-10-3 and tied for second place in the Metropolitan Division, won’t be looking to add Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Patrik Laine, Sean Monahan or any of the other big-name players who are expected to be available before the trade deadline.

Good vibes

Briere likes what he has seen from the Flyers in the first 29 games.

“I’m proud of the guys in how they’ve played, and that’s kind of the standard and the culture that we’re trying to put out there,” Briere said.

But that hasn’t changed the plan. This is the early stages of a massive rebuild, and Briere recognizes it won’t happen overnight.

“We’re still looking ahead,” he said prior to the Flyers’ 4-3 shootout win Thursday over Washington before a loud, animated crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. “The plan is to build a playoff contender for years to come. That’s still the plan. Some players have shown they can be a part of what we’re doing.”

Travis Konecny, Carter Hart, and Travis Sanheim certainly fit that description and are regarded as core players for the future. Rookie wingers Bobby Brink and Tyson Foerster have not looked out of place and seem to also be in that group. Ditto young veterans like Joel Farabee, Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost and Cam York.

Walker dilemma

It remains to be seen if defenseman Sean Walker, 29, who has played admirably in his first year with the Flyers, fits into the team’s future or will be dealt before the deadline.

For the first time in a while, the Philadelphia Flyers are fun to watch. They rarely get outworked. They are playing faster than in recent seasons, and Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson have made a huge difference, playing solidly and providing leadership after missing last year because of injuries.

Put it all together and you have a team that is one of the NHL’s most pleasant surprises.

Will it lead to their first playoff berth in four years? That’s still a long shot.

Would a trade addition help their playoff chances?


But, thankfully, Briere is not going that route. He is staying with his Big Picture outlook.

And that, quite frankly, is a refreshing and much-needed view.

Sam Carchidi writes a weekly column for Philly Hockey Now. He and Jeff Hare are working on a TV series on the Flyers’ glory days, tentatively called Bullies: A Love Story. Carchidi can be reached at

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