For the top six forward(s) problem, I have thought long and hard, as well as watched a lot of Olympic hockey. Most of these blogs have thrown out names like Ray Whitney and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Both of these are interesting players, but I have another option: KHL.
I have to give credit; my inspiration for this ephiphany was watching the Olympics. Follow me on this, it gets a little confusing. An NHL team can loan players to the KHL for monetary compensation, so why not the other way around?
There are several former NHL first round picks, as well as top six forwards playing over in Russia. The official IIHL rules on international transfer can be found here (http://www.del.org/fileadmin/content/downloads/IIHF/IIHF_International_Transfer_Regulations_-_June_2009.pdf).
I want to focus on two players in particular who can help the Pens as top six forwards: Alexander Radulov and Nikolai Zherdev.
Radulov, a former player for the Nashville Predators, has a total of 95 points (44 G, 51 A) in two NHL seasons and 105 points (44 G, 61 A) in two seasons in the KHL. He has one more year with Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
Radulov could be placed on the second line with Malkin as they already have chemistry, both playing for Team Russia. His ten PP goals in the KHL prove that the Russian sniper lives up to his calling.
Nikolai Zherdev should bring back memories of last season when the 26 year old Russian was a NY Ranger. That season, Zherdev was co-points leader on the team. He has 239 points (99 G, 140 A) in 365 NHL games and 36 points (13 G, 23 A) in 49 KHL games.
His NHL stats speak for themselves. The fact that he makes the best of bad situations, being with the Rangers last season and the Blue Jackets before that, speak to his caliber of play. Imagine what he could do with a setup man like Crosby; Crosby would finally have his legitimate scorer.
Either of these players could be acquired for monetary compensation. Zherdev would probably be easier to attain as Radulov is the leading scorer on the best team. I know that this is an odd way to find talent, but, if the Pens wish to repeat, some extraordinary measures might put them back on top of the NHL world.