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Tortorella: 'We'd be dopes' to not hear Walker offers

Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images Sport / Getty

John Tortorella may not be the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, but that didn't stop the head coach from dishing out his two cents on the upcoming trade deadline.

"When it comes to the deadline, we're going to listen," he said, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall. "If we feel it's the right thing to do for the future of the organization, we'll do it.

"Those guys on expiring contracts, everybody's always kind of checking around, so we'll see where it goes. We're not out there shopping Sean Walker, but we'd be dopes if we didn't listen."

The Flyers have been one of the league's biggest surprises of the season, surpassing all expectations by being a fixture in the Eastern Conference's playoff picture.

Walker, a pending unrestricted free-agent defenseman, has been a major part of the Flyers' success during his breakthrough first season in the City of Brotherly Love.

A right-handed shot who can play both sides, Walker ranks second among all Flyers defensemen this campaign with five goals and 19 points in 52 games while averaging 19:31 minutes of ice time per contest. His underlying numbers have been solid, too, with Philadelphia controlling 52.8% of the shot attempts and 53.3% of the expected goals while outscoring opponents 44-35 with Walker on the ice at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick.

Combine his performance with his modest $2.65-million cap hit, and the Flyers could have a hot commodity on their hands come March 8.

"It's probably one of the best problems to have, right?" Walker said. "At the end of the day, you're playing really well and teams want you. That is the situation when you come to a place on an expiring contract, the situation I'm in.

"I'll let my agent deal with all those kind of issues and I'll just take it day by day for now. ... I take everything with a grain of salt."

The Flyers' acquisition of 21-year-old Jamie Drysdale as part of January's shocking Cutter Gauthier trade has crowded their blue line. Walker is one of three Philadelphia rearguards on an expiring deal, alongside Nick Seeler and Marc Staal.

During his midseason address, general manager Danny Briere said he was pleased to see growth from his team but noted that he wouldn't be entering "buyer mode" come deadline time.

"We've said for the beginning that we want to build a team that will become a Stanley Cup contender for years to come. ... The eye is still on the future," the executive said, per

Heading into Saturday's action, Philadelphia was in third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 27-19-6 record, nine points behind the New York Rangers for the top spot.

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