Skip to main content
Publish date:

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

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

Next Up

Chris Finch

Hawks bury Timberwolves in 3-point barrage

Without D'Angelo Russell, the Wolves couldn't keep up with the Hawks.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Kirk Ciarocca returning to Gophers as offensive coordinator

The architect of the 2019 offense will look to revive the Gophers.

Klobuchar - MTP - NBC screengrab

Klobuchar says Congress should pass law to protect abortion rights

Her comments came as the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken — or gut — Roe v. Wade

MPD missing Heard - crop 1_

Police ask for public's help finding Mpls. woman missing a week

The 36-year-old hasn't been seen or heard from recently.

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.


1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.


Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.


Scot Kleinendorst

Ex-NHL player seriously injured in Grand Rapids crane accident

The Grand Rapids native suffered serious brain trauma in the accident.


Driver dies in single-vehicle rollover crash near Grand Rapids

The crash happened around 4:10 p.m. Thursday, April 16.

hospital, emergency room

Man dies 12 days after fall from ladder in Monticello

He was injured August 4 and died August 16, according to the medical examiner.

Roy Miller

Grand Rapids man charged with attempted murders of 5 deputies

He was also charged with the domestic assault of his wife and stepson.