Countdown to the deadline: Penguins

The acquisition of David Perron will likely be the Penguins' biggest move before the deadline. Joe Sargent/NHLI/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins got busy way ahead of the trade deadline, adding top-six winger David Perron on Jan. 2 and fourth-line center Maxim Lapierre on Jan. 27. Veteran general manager Jim Rutherford could still act before the March 2 deadline at 3 p.m. ET, as he is on the lookout for another piece up front, but it will likely be a bottom-six forward.

It's about winning now for this franchise, which looks to find more playoff success than it has had the past few seasons. Anything that makes the team better for a playoff run will be worth looking at for Rutherford, who enters the final week before the deadline with an open mind but also with the reality that his minimal salary-cap space somewhat limits his options.

Status: BUYER

Needs: A few weeks ago, Rutherford felt the team needed an experienced defenseman just as much as it needed a bottom-six forward, and they were both seen as desirable additions if possible.

Rutherford tried on Toronto's Cody Franson but really couldn't get into the type of deal that saw the 27-year-old blueliner ultimately dealt to Nashville. I think the Penguins would have also looked hard at Marc Methot had he hit the trade market, but instead the veteran blueliner re-signed with Ottawa, removing him from the mix.

At this point, the Penguins don't seem to have much interest in the rental blueliners still out there. The sense within the organization is that the current price doesn't justify the return and that there isn't a real upgrade out there. That doesn't totally rule out a depth move, if for example a guy like Scott Hannan or Jan Hejda became available (both are pending unrestricted free agents) and was available for a modest price.

The bigger priority at this point appears to be adding a bottom-six forward. The Penguins have interest, like several teams do, in Toronto rental Daniel Winnik, among other targets on their list. Whatever the player, I think the Penguins will try hard to add a forward who fits into what they need before the deadline.

Finances: No small issue when it comes to the Penguins, who as of Monday had only about $500,000 to $600,000 in cap room to play with. Now, there are ways around that, whether that's a player going back in a deal to make the money work or the selling team retaining salary. The Pens could still add a player despite the cap impediment.

Scouting the GM: Perron likely is going to be Pittsburgh's biggest move of all, and certainly the winger has played well since coming over. But don't think Rutherford will sit on his hands this week. If there's a bigger, traditional hockey deal out there, history suggests Rutherford is never scared to act. There's nothing on the docket as of Monday morning, but this veteran GM always keeps you guessing. The Pens are all-in to win now. Rutherford will be all ears.