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Ex-NHL Player Scot Kleinendorst Dies at 59 from Paper Plant Workplace Injuries

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

An NHL logo is shown before the start of the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Alan Diaz/Associated Press

Former NHL defenseman Scot Kleinendorst died Tuesday at the age of 59 as a result of injuries suffered at his workplace.

According to the Associated Press (h/t USA Today), Kleinendorst suffered "severe brain trauma and numerous broken bones" in a Dec. 7 accident at UPM Blandin paper plant in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Kleinendorst's family released the following statement: "Making the decision to let Scot pass was extremely hard, because of the unspeakable grief and unfillable void we now have to endure. However, making this decision was easy when it came to what Scot would ask us to do for him if he could. Of that we are certain."

During his collegiate career at Providence College, Kleinendorst was selected by the New York Rangers in the third round of the 1980 NHL draft.

He went on to spend eight seasons in the NHL with the Rangers, Hartford Whalers and Washington Capitals from 1982-1990.

Overall, he posted 12 goals and 46 assists for 58 points along with 452 penalty minutes in 281 regular-season games. Kleinendorst also registered nine points in 26 career playoff contests.

Kleinendorst retired from hockey after appearing in 15 regular-season and three playoff games as a member of the Caps in 1989-90, when the Caps were defeated by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals.

His younger brother, Kurt Kleinendorst, is currently the head coach of the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers in the German elite league.

The accident that resulted in Kleinendorst's death remains under investigation.