NHL

Oilers forward Colby Cave dies after suffering brain bleed

Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave has died after suffering a brain bleed earlier this week. The 25-year-old native of Battleford, Sask., had been in a medically induced coma in a Toronto hospital.

25-year-old was placed in medically induced coma on Tuesday

The Edmonton Oilers confirmed the death of forward Colby Cave. Cave suffered a brain bleed and underwent emergency surgery earlier this week, with doctors removing a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave has died after suffering a brain bleed earlier this week.

The 25-year-old native of Battleford, Sask., had been in a medically induced coma in a Toronto hospital.

The Oilers confirmed Cave's death with a statement from Cave's wife, Emily.

"I 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 statement said.

He had been in a coma since Tuesday at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, after being airlifted from a hospital in Barrie, Ont., on Monday.

Cave underwent emergency surgery on Tuesday with doctors removing a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain.

On Wednesday, Emily Cave posted an emotional update about her husband's situation.

"We need a miracle," she wrote on Instagram. "Colby's parents and myself got to see him through a window and talk to him with a walkie-talkie last night. We are no longer allowed to be in the hospital because COVID-19 rules. We have no idea when we will be allowed to see him again.

"The nurse has tied his wedding band to his ankle. I am dreaming of being able to touch you, hear your voice, squeeze your hand (three times) and kiss you again. I love you so much, and my heart is shattered into a million pieces without my best friend."

A memorable goal for Edmonton

Cave's agent, Jason Davidson, said Tuesday that the situation didn't appear to be linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cave scored once in 11 appearances with Edmonton this season. He had 11 goals and 23 points in 44 games with the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors this season.

The Oilers posted Cave's goal — an impressive rush down the right wing that saw him beat a Pittsburgh defender and stuff the puck past Penguins netminder Matt Murray — on Twitter earlier this week.

"Colby is an awesome person who scored an awesome goal for us this season," the team said.

Cave scored once in 11 appearances with Edmonton this season. He had 11 goals and 23 points in 44 games with the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors this season.

"We wanted to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our teammate Colby Cave after his passing earlier this morning," said a joint statement from Oilers chairman Bob Nicholson and GM Ken Holland. "Colby was a terrific teammate with great character, admired and liked everywhere he played."

67 NHL games

Cave played five seasons in Swift Current before joining the Boston Bruins' organization for the 2014-15 season after going undrafted. The Oilers claimed Cave off waivers on Jan. 15, 2019.

Cave had four goals and five assists over 67 NHL games with Boston and Edmonton.

The six-foot-one, 200-pound Cave made his NHL debut with Boston on Dec. 21, 2017, after getting called up from Providence of the AHL. He played three games with Boston that season. Cave played 15 more games with Boston in 2018 before the Oilers claimed him.

"I'm so shocked and saddened to hear this horrible news. It's hard to put my feelings into words," Boston forward Jake DeBrusk, who played with Cave in Swift Current and again in the Bruins organization, said on social media. "I was lucky to play junior hockey with Colby. He was our captain and leader. It was an unforgettable moment when we again played together in the NHL for the Boston Bruins.

"He was an amazing person, player and friend. Sending my deepest condolences to Emily and the Cave family. Rest in peace Colby."

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