Crosby won't be ready for training camp or the regular season opener, and if he does return it likely won't be until after January.
Without Crosby, can the Penguins reach the Stanley Cup Finals? No. There are too many teams that are better, and have better goaltending.
So let's look at 11 trades that would help the Penguins compete without Crosby.
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins featured columnist for Bleacher Report and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston. Follow him on Twitter for NHL news and analysis. Follow @NicholasGoss35.
The Penguins don't have a high scoring winger, and acquiring one who is also a great power forward would be a fantastic move.
Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames has played a brilliant career, but the lack of a Stanley Cup on his resume may make him request a trade soon, and the Penguins are a very good team.
Jordan Staal, Eric Tangradi, and a second-round pick in 2012 for Iginla would be worth it for Pittsburgh.
Matt D'Agostini is a good eight winger who could flourish with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Sending a second or third-round pick for the 2012 NHL draft may be enough to get him from St. Louis. You can never have enough depth on the wings.
The Phoenix Coyotes won't return to the NHL playoffs next year, so trading some aging players for draft picks is a smart idea.
Adrian Aucoin is an aging player, but he can still help at blueline depth to a contender. A fourth or fifth-round pick for Aucoin could be a decent move for Pittsburgh.
Matt Cooke is arguably the most hated player in the NHL, and he is public enemy No. 1 in several cities—including Boston.
Cooke is not a very good player, and getting rid of him would help on the ice and in the PR department. Trading Cooke for a draft pick would be a smart move for the Penguins.
Ray Whitney is a great veteran player who could help the Penguins for a year or two while they see if Sidney Crosby will ever return to the ice.
A third-round pick or a lower level prospect could be enough to the get the Coyotes veteran.
Mathieu Perreault has a lot of talent but likely isn't a major part of the Washington Capitals future. The Penguins could acquire the young forward for a second- or third-round pick.
Perreault would be a nice addition to the offense and has 20-goal potential.
Johnny Boychuk is a good defenseman who is solid defensively and has a rocket of a slapshot.
The Penguins could acquire him with a second-round pick, and he is still young enough that he could play a big role with the team going forward.
He also has significant playoff experience from his time in Boston.
Ryan Suter is due for a big raise next summer, and the Nashville Predators should re-sign captain Shea Weber and goalie Pekke Rinne before Suter.
Suter would be a great addition to the Penguins, but it would cost a lot to get him from Nashville.
Paul Martin, a 2012 first-round pick, and a fifth-round pick could acquire Suter.
Nik Antropov is a big forward and uses his size and strength to his advantage. He could give some size and offense to the Penguins, and he would benefit from playing with much better players in Pittsburgh than he is in Winnipeg.
A second-round pick and a lower level prospect could acquire Antropov.
Although Andrei Kostitsyn has a lot of talent, he hasn't been able to develop as the Montreal Canadiens had hoped he would.
A change of scenery could benefit him greatly, and the Penguins would surround him with a talented roster of players.
A third-round pick—and possibly a veteran—should be enough to entice the Canadiens into trading Kostitsyn.
Alex Tanguay is a veteran with Stanley Cup experience—which is exactly what the Penguins need, because they will make the playoffs this season.
Tanguay is also a good offensive player and will provide leadership on the Penguins.
The Calgary Flames should start rebuilding their team; it's inevitable that they will, so cashing in on Tanguay's value with draft picks would be a good move for them.