Penguins to honor Johnstown's Dana Heinze, retired equipment manager, before Saturday game against Lightning

Oct. 14—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Dana Heinze will be in a familiar place on Saturday night — at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

But the Johnstown native briefly will be in the spotlight instead of on the bench with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins will honor Heinze, 54, who retired recently after a career that included his working 33 seasons in professional hockey as an equipment manager, including the past 16 seasons with the Penguins.

Heinze worked in 2,306 professional hockey games.

A Cambria County Sports Hall of Famer, Heinze was part of four Stanley Cup-winning teams, three with the Penguins (2009, 2016, 2017) and one with the Tampa Bay Lightning (2004).

The Penguins and Lightning will play on Saturday.

Heinze will be honored during an on-ice ceremony prior to the game. The Penguins will host Heinze and his family for the game to cap off the celebration of his career, which started in 1988 with the former Johnstown Chiefs franchise in the East Coast Hockey League.

The Westmont Hilltop High School graduate used his experience in Johnstown to land a job in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, a team that had been affiliated with the Johnstown Chiefs.

He eventually returned to the Chiefs and transformed the locker room to NHL-level standards at what now is known as 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

His second stint in Johnstown led Heinze to the Detroit Vipers, then the Tampa Bay affiliate in the International Hockey League. He later was promoted to the NHL club and was part of the Lightning's Stanley Cup run in 2004.

Heinze and his family shared his day with the 2004 Stanley Cup with his hometown, as he displayed the historic trophy in the War Memorial as 2,000 fans lined up to view it and have photographs taken.

Heinze and fellow Johnstown native Chris Stewart, the Penguins head athletic trainer, were part of the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin-led Penguins' Stanley Cup runs in 2009, 2016 and 2017.

Both Heinze and Stewart were inducted into the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame in 2018. The locker room and training rooms at 1st Summit Arena are named to honor Heinze and Stewart, respectively. Stewart remains with the Penguins, who opened the season with a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.

Westmont Hilltop retired the No. 30 jersey worn by Heinze, a former goaltender at the school. A banner hangs in the War Memorial to commemorate the number.