Colby Cave, an Edmonton Oilers striker, died on Saturday, four days after having surgery to remove a colloidal cyst that was putting pressure on his brain. He was 25 years old.
Cave was hospitalized after suffering brain bleeding overnight from Monday to Tuesday and was in a medical coma.
“The National Hockey League family mourns the heartbreaking death of Colby Cave, whose hockey life and career, while too short, were emblematic and inspiring for the best in our game,” said the NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, in a press release. “Undrafted but fearless, Colby was relentless in pursuing his hockey dream with the organizations of the Edmonton Oilers and the Boston Bruins. A serious and hard-working player, he was admired by his teammates and coaches. Most importantly, he was a warm and generous person. which was appreciated by all who had the chance to know him. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Emily, their families and to Colby’s countless friends in the hockey world. “
Cave had a goal in 11 games with the Oilers this season and had 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 44 games with the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield. He was in his second season with the Oilers after being asked for a Bruins waiver on January 15, 2019. In three seasons with the Oilers and Bruins, Cave had nine points (four goals, five assists) in 67 games in the NHL.
“On behalf of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club and the Bakersfield Condors, we wanted to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our teammate Colby Cave after his death earlier this morning,” said the Oilers in a communicated. “Colby was a great teammate with lots of character, admired and loved everywhere he played. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Emily, his family and friends during this very difficult time. “
AHL President David Andrews said, “Colby Cave was loved as a teammate and friend, as a husband and son. The entire American Hockey League offers our sincere condolences to Colby’s wife, Emily, and all his family, as well as those whose lives he has touched with the Oilers and Bruins organizations and throughout hockey . “
Cave was signed by the Bruins as an undrafted free agent on April 7, 2015. He made his NHL debut on December 21, 2017 on a line with Jake DeBrusk, who was his teammate with the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current for two seasons from 2013-2015.
“I am so shocked and saddened to hear this horrible news,” said DeBrusk. “It’s hard to put my feelings into words. I was fortunate to play junior hockey with Colby. He was our captain and leader. It was an unforgettable moment when we played together again in the NHL for the Boston Bruins. He was an incredible person, player and friend. My sincere condolences go to Emily and the Cave family. Rest in peace Colby. “
Cave agent Jason Davidson told Sportsnet on Tuesday that there was no connection to COVID-19 and that his client was not involved in any type of accident.
“The most confusing part for everyone is that you are talking about a healthy young athlete,” said Davidson. “This is not supposed to happen to people who love Colby. “