When Paul Holmgren’s phone rings these days, it seems like it’s always a doctor with bad news on the other end instead of a colleague.

The Flyers’ general manager doesn’t have much to work with for the NHL trade deadline, which is now just three days away, and admitted Saturday that acquiring a rental player in hopes of making the playoffs “wouldn’t make any sense.”

Danny Briere, the Flyers’ most monetarily valuable trade chip, is out with a concussion and isn’t itching to waive his no-move clause.

Braydon Coburn, a defenseman with a $4.5 million cap hit, is probably done for the season with a separated left shoulder and also off the trading block. So are other injured blueliners Nick Grossmann, Andrej Meszaros, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Matt Walker and Chris Pronger.

So what’s Holmgren to do?

“I don’t see him blowing things up,” NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose told the Courier-Post. “In a losing streak, you’re never as bad as you think you are. Same thing on a winning streak, you’re never as good as you think you are. I think Paul is a very deliberate general manager. I think he’ll evaluate everything.”

The rest of the league used to marvel at Holmgren for taking the initiative at this time of year.

In his first year as GM, he didn’t wait until the deadline to get Coburn for Alexei Zhitnik or Martin Biron, whom he thought would be a longtime goalie. That summer, he traded Nashville a first-round pick for the rights to Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell, a bold move that paid off big-time.

These days, the arms race is dictated 305 miles due west. The Eastern Conference is reacting to the moves of Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, who acquired Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jarome Iginla in a week’s span.

“If it’s an arms race, there’s been a lot of armies blown up the past couple days,” Melrose said. “I love what they’ve done. I love the fact that they did it early. They were proactive. They didn’t wait until the deadline. They knew what they wanted and went and got it. I think Ray Shero just wrote the book on how to do it at the deadline when you’re a very good team.”