The NHL lost a member of their community today, as Colby Cave, a 25-year-old Edmonton Oiler forward, passed away after experiencing a brain bleed earlier in the week. The doctors at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital decided to place Cave in a medically induced coma after he was airlifted to the clinic on Tuesday according to NBC Sports. Cave underwent emergency surgery where colloid cyst, a mass that can appear in the center of one’s brain causing blockage of vital fluids, had to be removed.
Unfortunately, Cave passed away Saturday morning. His wife, Emily, posted this heartbreaking message, along with three photos, on her Instagram.
Many other figures in the NHL family would go to social media to pay their respects.
The Oilers released this statement:
“On behalf of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club and the Bakersfield Condors, we wanted to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends after the passing of our teammate Colby Cave earlier this morning. Colby was a terrific teammate with great character, admired and liked everywhere he played. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Emily, his family and friends at this very difficult time.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman:
“The National Hockey League family mourns the heartbreaking passing of Colby Cave, whose life and hockey career, though too short, were inspiringly emblematic of the best of our game. Undrafted but undaunted, Colby was relentless in the pursuit of his hockey dream with both the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins organizations. An earnest and hardworking player, he was admired by his teammates and coaches. More important, he was a warm and generous person who was well-liked by all those fortunate enough to know him. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Emily, their families and Colby's countless friends throughout the hockey world.”
Wayne Gretzky, “The Great One”, had a message for Cave’s family as well.
Many Oilers who knew and played with Cave described how he was an awesome teammate, incredibly hard worker, and had an infectious positive attitude. Edmonton’s Twitter page is flooded with player and team tributes to Cave.
Cave’s other professional team, the Boston Bruins, also mourned his passing on Saturday.
Bruins President Cam Neely, general manager Don Sweeney, head coach Bruce Cassidy, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and Jake DeBrusk all made formal statements. Other Bruins tweeted out their condolences as well.
Cave played in 67 NHL games in three years with Boston and Edmonton. He scored four goals and tallied five assists. He clearly made a positive impact on both organizations he played for. He will surely be missed by The NHL community.