Despite being last place in the Eastern Conference and a full 17 points back of the final wildcard berth, the Ottawa Senators could be looking to buy ahead of the Mar. 8 NHL Trade Deadline.

The Sens are one of the teams interested in Calgary Flames defensive stalwart Chris Tanev, TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday.

“There are multiple teams that are in the mix. Of late, it seems to be the Ottawa Senators. I can tell you that the Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs most definitely have a keen interest in Tanev,” Dreger explained.

“Ottawa, I think, looks at Tanev as being a foundational fit,  which tells us It’s not just about the trade, it’s about the contract extension that would likely have to happen after they acquired Tanev. There are lots of teams that remain interested, including non-playoff teams like the Senators and some other contending teams as well.”

It's not often you see a last-place team looking to improve mid-season, but this would likely be a situation where Ottawa GM Steve Staios would look to lock up the veteran for the next few seasons.

“As I was reminded, doesn’t Chris Tanev have to make a decision? Is he chasing the Stanley Cup this year? And if the answer to that is yes, then that’s going to factor significantly into his destination of choice,” finished Dreger.

Chris Tanev's contract includes a 10-team no trade list

Chris Tanev smiling next to Quinn Hughes

Even if the Senators and Flames were able to work out a deal for the defensive defenseman, it may be out of Ottawa's hands. The 34-year-olds contract contains a 10-team no-trade list, according to The Score's Josh Wegman, “so he'll have a say in where he ends up if he does get traded.”

Tanev is in the final year of a contract that pays $4.5 million in 2023-24, and he'll likely be looking for a similar number on his next deal. The Toronto native has scored nine points in 46 games in Calgary this season, averaging 19:40 of ice time while ranking fifth in the NHL with 135 blocks on the campaign.

Flames GM Craig Conroy has already pulled the trigger on a trade that sent hulking blueliner Nikita Zadorov to the Vancouver Canucks, and it'll be intriguing to see if he can swing another D-man deal ahead of the deadline.