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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired William "Mic" Midderhoff as assistant equipment manager, it was announced by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster. Midderhoff replaces Dana Heinze, who left the position after six years with the Lightning to become head equipment manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Midderhoff will work closely with head equipment manager Ray Thill and assistant equipment manager Jim Pickard.

Midderhoff, 59, spent the past seven seasons as equipment manager for the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL, where he replaced Heinze in 1999. He has been a member of the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers since 1995, and served as a volunteer equipment assistant in Johnstown under Heinze from 1989-99. A native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Midderhoff spent the previous 27 years as a manager in the retail industry.

"We recognized that it was not going to be easy to replace Dana Heinze, and we undertook an exhaustive and extensive search to find the right person to complement our existing staff," Feaster said. "In 'Mic' we have found someone who was hired by Dana, worked with him extensively through the years, and as a result of his friendship with Dana knows us, knows how we operate and recognizes the importance we place on the position. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome 'Mic' to the NHL."

To replace Midderhoff, the Lightning have named Casey Taylor as head equipment manager in Johnstown. Taylor, 28, served as assistant equipment manager of the American Hockey League's Springfield Falcons in 2005-06 after spending the previous six years as a visiting room attendant for the Lightning. Taylor, the son of two-time Stanley Cup winner and Lightning television analyst Bobby "the Chief" Taylor (1974-75, Philadelphia Flyers), also spent the 1997-98 season as an equipment assistant for the Flyers.

"Casey Taylor has been around the locker room and the equipment part of the hockey business for a long time, both in Philadelphia and Tampa in the NHL as well as Springfield in the AHL," Feaster said. "He has worked our rookie camps in Traverse City and this past summer was instrumental in assisting Ray Thill with our conditioning camp in Tampa. He has paid his dues and is ready for the opportunity to be a head equipment manager in the ECHL where he will deal with many of our top prospects. We are confident he will do an outstanding job for us in Johnstown."

Joining Taylor in Johnstown is Rodney Bogart, who takes over the role of head medical trainer from Scott Adams, who left the Chiefs to become a medical assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bogart has worked the past five seasons as a head athletic therapist in the Ontario Hockey League, spending last season with the Belleville Bulls and the previous four seasons with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Bogart, who has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, was hired as an assistant athletic therapist by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League upon graduation.
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