The Pittsburgh Penguins are the best team in the Eastern Conference, according to their record. Take one glance at their growing injured reserve list, though, and you'll start to see a more complete picture.
Within a weak Metropolitan Division, they are far and way the top team—the 45-year old French Bordeaux next to a pile of Bota Boxes. While skating with the likes of the New York Islanders (22-30-8) or the New Jersey Devils (24-22-13), Pittsburgh looks strong.
The list of needs must be mildly staggering, even to a trade deadline master like Ray Shero. With no Pascal Dupuis until the start of the 2014-15 season (and maybe longer), Sidney Crosby could use another top-line winger to play with.
The internal answer of Beau Bennett is still several weeks away, leaving Shero in search of another option.
Kris Letang is recovering following a horrifying stroke, the details of which are only now starting to become known. There's no set return date for the top-end offensive defenseman. Coupled with the loss of Paul Martin for four-to-six weeks, Pittsburgh's blue line could use a boost.
On top of all that, with a perfectly healthy roster it's likely that Shero would like to add some scoring depth as well. With so many trade rumors floating around ahead of the March 5 deadline, there may be a few fits for Pittsburgh to consider.
Don't look for them to land a big fish like Martin St. Louis or Ryan Kesler. The Penguins moved four draft picks and three prospects at the deadline last season in an all-in effort, and isn't likely to take that plunge again.
Still, there are a few potential rentals worth inquiring about in the coming days.
All statistics appear courtesy of NHL.com and are accurate through games played on February 26.