MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A paper company in Grand Rapids has announced that former NHL player Scot Kleinendorst has died from injuries suffered in a workplace accident at UPM Blandin paper mill.

While operating a crane that was unloading pulp wood on Dec. 9, Kleinendorst was ejected from the machine, suffering serious head injuries and fractures. He was taken to a Duluth hospital for several surgeries.

Kleinendorst played eight seasons in the NHL, beginning with the New York Rangers in 1982 and ending with the Washington Capitals in 1990.

He’d been employed at Blandin for 25 years, holding various titles in the wood room and as an equipment operator.

“Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this very difficult time. We are all completely devastated by this tragic loss,” Scott Juidici, the general manager at UPM Blandin said.

A news release says that UPM Blandin is working in close collaboration with the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to analyze the accident and its potential causes.

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