The Penguins will honor long-time arena employees at Sunday's 3:00PM game against the Boston Bruins at PPG Paints Arena - including six employees with more than 50 years of service to the fans of Pittsburgh.
John Domitrovic, John Kruljac, David Blackburn, David Dorsey Jr., Gary Underwood and William Ross started their careers at the old Civic Arena between 1961 and 1966 - meaning that they all pre-date the Penguins, who came into existence in 1967.
Domitrovic's first day of work was September 2, 1961, making him the senior man in terms of service. Kruljac and Blackburn also started in 1961, followed by Dorsey and Underwood (1964) and Ross (1966).
Domitrovic handles security and gardening and is a long-time media room attendant. Kruljac is a ticket seller and Blackburn, Dorsey, Underwood and Ross are ticket takers.
"The fact that these men have been on the job so long shows their incredible passion and dedication," said Travis Williams, Chief Operating Officer of the Penguins. "We are going to be saluting all of our long-term employees on Sunday, but this special group of six with 50-plus years of experience is truly special. They obviously love what they do, and we are lucky to have them."
Domitrovic, Kruljac, Blackburn, Dorsey, Underwood and Ross will get the day off and have the chance to enjoy the game from a suite. Each will receive a special plaque made from the old arena roof and the same 50th Anniversary jersey presented to Penguins alumni.
Other employees who have been at the arena for 30-plus and 40-plus years will be saluted on the arena video board during the first intermission.
Also, the Penguins are encouraging fans to bring Terrible Towels (or gold Penguins playoff towels) to Sunday's game as a show of support for the Steelers. The Steelers play the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday at 6:40PM.