Former NHL defenseman Scot Kleinendorst died on Tuesday from injuries he sustained during a workplace accident. He was 59.
Kleinendorst — who played eight seasons in the NHL — sustained brain trauma and broken bones at UPM Blandin paper plant in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The incident took place on December 7.
Despite doctors’ best efforts, Kleinendorst was unable to recover from those injuries.
Kleinendorst’s daughter, Kelby Kleinendorst, posted an update on Caring Bridge on Tuesday saying the situation was “extremely hard” on the family.
“Anyone who knows Scot knows he is a tough, proud, loving, self-sacrificing and no-nonsense kind of guy,” she wrote.
“He was fearless in so many ways and cared more about everyone else than he did himself. Making the decision to let Scot pass was extremely hard, because of the unspeakable grief and unfillable void we now have to endure.”
Hockey world pays tribute to Kleinendorst
Kleinendorst started his NHL career in 1982, when he was drafted by the New York Rangers.
He played two years with the team before joining the Hartford Whalers. Kleinendorst spent his final season and a half in the NHL with the Washington Capitals. He played his final NHL game in 1990.
Details regarding the workplace accident at the UPM Blandin paper plant have not be released. The incident is under investigation.
Another fmr hockey player died way too young (only 49 years of age) and the league doesn’t do a fucking shit. Rest in peace Scot Kleinendorst ❤️ https://t.co/4maKqvoNf8— Noah (@contributenoah) December 17, 2019
The Friar family is saddened to learn of the passing of Scot Kleinendorst '82. Our thoughts and prayers are with his younger brother Kurt '83 and the rest of the Kleinendorst family. pic.twitter.com/IjotOJVvGz— PC Men's Hockey (@FriarsHockey) December 17, 2019
We have some sad news to share with you this morning. Former Whaler Scot Kleinendorst has passed away at the age of 59. Scot started his career with the Rangers. He later went on to play 8 seasons with the Whalers and Capitols. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. pic.twitter.com/PhflChxrGo— Hockey Night in Hartford (@HockeyNightHFD) December 17, 2019