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Stanley Cup Journal - Dana Heinze

Monday, 07.20.2009 / 2:06 PM / Fan Zone
Pittsburgh Penguins

Dana Heinze
Equipment Manager


Join hockey's most prized trophy as it parties throughout the summer of 2009. As each member of the Pittsburgh Penguins assumes
possession of the Stanley Cup for one day, get an insider's view through exclusive stories, videos, and photographs via the Hockey Hall of Fame's Stanley Cup chaperone (aka "White Gloves") - no one gets closer! The Stanley Cup Journal is presented by Trib Total Media and content is provided by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

For equipment manager Dana Heinze, his celebration was almost like a normal workday. Starting bright and early on Friday, July 10, he met the Stanley Cup at the Mellon Arena at 7:30, then drove with the Cup to his hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

It was almost exactly five years from the last time Dana had celebrated a Stanley Cup win in Johnstown. On July 9, 2004, while working as assistant equipment manager with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Heinze had the great fortune to take hockey's biggest prize to hometown.

Now, if Johnstown sounds familiar, you're right – it was the home of the Chiefs from the classic hockey film, 'Slapshot.' And if you've ever watched 'Slapshot,' you certainly know that there was no possibility that the Chiefs were ever going to entertain a celebration with the Stanley Cup. Thank goodness for the generosity of Dana Heinze!

Everywhere you go in Johnstown, there are memories of 'Slapshot,' whether it is someone wearing a jersey here, a bar that appeared in the film over there or some folks strolling by who are more than proud to tell you they appeared in a crowd scene.

The Heinze family is well-known in the town. His father, Lou, died earlier this year, but back in 1950, helped build the Cambria County War Memorial, the home of the Chiefs. Dana's Mom was a volleyball official in town for fifty years. And Dana's claim to fame was playing one game in goal with the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL in 1988-89 while serving as the team's head trainer.

Heinze then took advantage of his day with the Cup to visit a number of the Penguins' suppliers who are located in the Johnstown area. Among several stops, he dropped by Ziggy's Sports and Valley Printing to thank them for their support of the Penguins in their quest for the Cup.

Dana and wife Kathy took a few moments to head over to the Johnstown Inclined Plane, a cable-hauled railway that provides transportation between downtown Johnstown, on the floor of the Conemaugh River valley, and the borough of Westmont, on top of the bluff that overlooks the valley from the west. It affords an extraordinary view of the city, and made for a memorable photograph.

Stopping at his Mom's house, Dana showed off a wide array of amazing collectibles, from framed hockey jerseys to miniature trains to his mother's cut glass. Dana invited fans to stop by the house beginning at 4:00PM and see the fabled Stanley Cup up close and personal and chat with Dana. Whether it is the current NHL or Johnstown's hockey history, Heinze is an aficionado of the game, and in 2007, he contributed to a book titled, 'Slap Shots and Snapshots: 50 Seasons of Pro Hockey in Johnstown.'

To read the rest of this journal please visit the Hockey Hall Of Fame website.

Penguins head equipment manager Dana Heinze and his wife Kathy share a moment with the Cup in Johnstown, PA. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
 
Former equipment manager of the Johnstown Chiefs Dana Heinze brought the Cup back to Johnstown where some of the Chiefs Alumni got their picture taken with Lord Stanley. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
 
Head equipment manager Dana Heinze brought the Cup to Valley Printing in Johnstown, PA. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
 

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