Late Edmonton Oilers centre Colby Cave. Photo credits: wsj.com

Oilers’ Colby Cave passes away at 25

Edmonton Oilers centre Colby Cave passed away at the Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Saturday, April 11, at the age of 25 after being in a medically induced coma from a brain bleed he suffered only five days prior.

The Oilers called the passing a “very, very sad day” for the organization, as Cave was looked at by the NHL community as a warm and kind teammate and an adamant pursuer of his hockey dream.   Commissioner Gary Bettman labeled him as an “earnest and hardworking player” as well as a “warm and generous person”.  He also described him as “undrafted but undaunted” in a statement he issued about the tragedy.

The Boston Bruins, who was Cave’s first major league team, expressed their condolences as well, and Bruins president and team legend Cam Neely issued a statement according to CNN: “As an undrafted free agent from Saskatchewan, Colby chose the Bruins and once he came to our organization, he seized the opportunity and showed on and off the ice that he was a special hockey player and person.  He was, and will always be a Bruin, and he will be dearly missed by everyone who was lucky enough to know him.”

Cave, a native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan who went undrafted in 2015, was in his second season as an Oiler after playing for the Bruins and their minor league affiliate, the Providence Bruins.  Cave was also a member of the Oilers’ minor league affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.  In 67 National Hockey League (NHL) games, he notched nine points (four goals and five assist), and in the American Hockey League (AHL), he tallied 138 points (54 goals and 84 assists).

His wife Emily made a heartbeaking yet moving tribute in the form of an Instagram post in honor of her late husband.  Neither she nor any of Cave’s family were allowed to visit him at the hospital under COVID-19 (coronavirus) rules amidst the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Canada.  Because of the pandemic, the NHL, along with several sports leagues around the world, either suspended or cancelled gameplay.

The Oilers, at the time of the league’s suspension, were second in the NHL Pacific Division with 83 points, close to clinching a playoff spot, only behind the Vegas Golden Knights.

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