Ex-NHL player Scot Kleinendorst dies from injuries suffered at Grand Rapids paper company

Kleinendorst passed away Dec. 17 at the age of 59.
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Scot Kleinendorst

Minnesota native Scot Kleinendorst, who played a decade in the NHL, has died from injuries he suffered in a workplace accident in his hometown of Grand Rapids. 

The tragic announcement was made by his family on CaringBridge, saying Kleinendorst passed away around 4 a.m. Tuesday – 10 days after suffering serious injuries while working at the Blandin Paper Company. 

"Despite the heroic and painstaking efforts of all the medical staff at Essentia, Scot’s injuries were simply too devastating to come back from," the updated journal entry said. 

"Anyone who knows Scot knows he is a tough, proud, loving, self-sacrificing and no-nonsense kind of guy. He was fearless in so many ways and cared more about everyone else than he did himself," the update added. 

According to Grand Rapids Police Department, Kleinendorst was ejected from a crane he was operating on Dec. 7. He suffered a broken arm, 17 broken ribs, a fractured clavicle and scapula, and serious brain trauma that required emergency surgery.

The 6-foot-3 former defenseman played for the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers and Washington Capitals during an NHL career that began in 1982. 

Kleinendorst was 59 years old. Funeral plans are pending. 

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