One of the longest-serving members of the Pittsburgh Penguins is stepping down.
Dana Heinze, an equipment manager since 2006, has retired.
The announcement of his departure was made on the team’s website.
At least one team official likely was taken aback by the move, having suggested recently that Heinze was expected to stay for at least one more season, but it was not entirely unexpected.
He had, after all, already moved out of his position as head of the equipment staff to allow his successor, Jon Taglianetti, to get settled into the role while Heinze served as one of his assistants.
Heinze, 54, worked more than 2,000 professional games and was on the staff of four Stanley Cup champions: The Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, 2016 and 2017 and Tampa Bay in 2004.
His career began in 1988, when he joined the Johnstown Chiefs of the East Coast Hockey League. Heinze is a Johnstown native and is relocating there.
The Penguins plan to honor him at a game during the 2022-23 season.