The Pittsburgh Penguins, on paper, certainly remain a Stanley Cup contender. In fact, Las Vegas casinos have them listed as the 2013 Stanley Cup favorite.
Funny thing is, there remains a huge void on their roster.
Sidney Crosby, the face of hockey, doesn't have a goal-scoring winger. This is a problem, and one that general manager Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma admit that they'd like to fix.
As things currently stand, reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin will remain on a line with wingers James Neal and Chris Kunitz. It was the best line in hockey last season. Crosby will likely find himself again on a line with winger Pascal Dupuis, who scored a career-high 25 goals last season, but there is no candidate to play with him, and it seems unlikely that Dupuis could again produce such a season.
There are candidates out there.
The Penguins attempted to sign Zach Parise, who ultimately signed a mega-deal with the Minnesota Wild on July 4. Shane Doan, who remains a free agent, is a player the Penguins are actively targeting. They believe his goal-scoring consistency and leadership would fit well in their locker room, much as Bill Guerin did in the months leading up to the Penguins' 2009 championship.
Also, the Penguins have mild interest in former Washington Capitals left wing Alex Semin and have been rumored to be interested in acquiring unhappy Anaheim Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan.
Finding a winger for Crosby has long been a problem.
The Penguins' attempted to re-sign Marian Hossa in 2008, but he made the decision to sign a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
Other players have received pitches from the Penguins, most recently Parise, but the team can't seem to lure a player to play with the game's greatest playmaker.
They're hoping to find a player -- whether it be a long-term or short-term solution -- this summer.