Colby Cave, Oilers Forward, Dead at 25

Edmonton Oilers prospect Colby Cave died on Saturday after suffering a brain bleed earlier in the week. He was placed into a medically-induced coma on Tuesday and was in critical condition. The news of the 25-year-old's death was confirmed with a statement from his family.

"It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning," his wife Emily said in a statement. "I (Emily) and both our families are in shock but know our Colby was loved dearly by us, his family and friends, the entire hockey community, and many more. We thank everyone for their prayers during this difficult time." The National Hockey League (NHL) shared similar sentiments in a statement released on Saturday.

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"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," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "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."

According to The Canadian Press, Cave had been in Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto after being airlifted from Barrie, Ontario, on Monday. He underwent emergency surgery to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain. Emily later provided an update on Wednesday and explained that the family was not allowed to be in the hospital due to the COVID-19 outbreak. She and Cave's parents had been able to see him through a window and talk to him using a walkie-talkie.

"To my best friend & love of my life, Colby My heart is shattered," Emily wrote on Instagram. "The amount of physical, mental, and emotional pain I am in when I think about never seeing, touching, or holding you again is unbearable. You are and will always be my person, my hero, the greatest thing to happen to me. I never dreamed of being a widow before our first wedding anniversary.

"Although, every cell in my body is lost without you, I promise to continue to make you proud. You were the best friend, husband, doggy daddy, and oh how I wished to see you as a baby daddy," she continued. "I'll see you again soon, Colb. You'll be in heaven meeting me with a warm wet kiss. You'll be with me every step of the way. I don't want to stop writing just like I didn't want to stop holding you this morning at the hospital. You are my everything. You always will be. Thank you for now being the best Guardian Angel. Just as you ended your vows, I am going to end with one word, AGAPE."

Cave appeared in 11 games for the Oilers during the 2019-20 season. However, he spent most of the year with their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors. Cave tallied 11 goals and 12 assists in 44 games for the Condors. He originally became a member of the Oilers after the team claimed him on waivers on Jan. 15, 2019.

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Prior to joining the Oilers on waivers, Cave entered the NHL as a member of the Boston Bruins. He went undrafted in 2014 and signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Bruins in 2015. Cave made his official NHL debut on Dec. 21, 2017 when he appeared in the Bruins' 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets.