The Philadelphia Flyers were not supposed to contend for a playoff spot this season. Despite sitting in third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers don’t plan on holding back their plans before the NHL trade deadline on March 8.

Although Philly will be without defenseman Jamie Drysdale for a bit as he's listed as week-to-week, the anticipation around the league is that the Flyers will continue to listen to offers on blueliners Sean Walker and Nick Seeler.

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman mentioned the Flyers' desire for building long-term and believes that Drysdale's injury won’t impact general manager Daniel Briere's plans.

“I think the Philadelphia Flyers are still taking a big-picture look at their organization,” Friedman said. “Assuming that's the case, and I have no reason to believe that it isn't the case, I believe that it doesn't change anything at all because what Daniel Briere should be thinking about is, ‘What's my line to re-sign these two guys and what's my line to trade these two guys?' The answer should be unchanged based on Jamie Drysdale's injury. The only way it changes is if the Flyers have decided they want to make the playoffs.”

Rebuilding the right way

Briere has mentioned multiple times throughout the season that the Flyers will stay the course with their long-term plans. There is a scenario in which Philly still makes the playoffs after moving several impact players. Things would get more difficult for the Flyers if they traded a pair of starting defensemen on top of Drysdale's injury.

The expectation is that Drysdale will be able to return this season, but the Flyers could remain cautious with him as injuries have slowed his development in the pros.

It would be hard for Briere to pass up first and/or second-round picks for some of his players, especially considering the market this season is a bit inflated with fewer big names openly available.

Philly is currently four points clear of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but four Metropolitan Division rivals are within seven points of each other as they vie for that coveted automatic playoff berth. The Flyers would not be a wild card team if the season ended today, which makes their path to the playoffs even tougher if they were to fall out of third in the division.

It's sometimes hard to remain fully committed to a rebuild amid a push for the playoffs. The Flyers are being smart about things though given their odds are still slim to hoist the Stanley Cup this season even if they do make the playoffs.

Of course, results have to follow, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a Flyers fan who would be upset about trading some pieces for major draft capital. It seems the majority of the Philly faithful is behind Briere and the franchise’s plans moving forward.