Hockey Community Mourns Death of Edmonton Oilers' Colby Cave at Age 25

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks
VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 16, 2019: Colby Cave, who passed away April 11 after suffering a brain bleed days earlier, skates during the pre-game warm up prior to a game against Vancouver Canucks on January, 16, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) Rich Lam/Getty

The hockey community mourned the death of Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave Saturday after he suffered a brain bleed earlier in the week.

His wife Emily Cave released a statement early Saturday with the news: "It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning. 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 25-year-old hockey player had to have emergency surgery at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto Tuesday to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain. He was put into a medically induced coma since that time. His family was unable to be with him because of the strict guidelines hospitals are following during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement on Cave's death: "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."

The Edmonton Oilers chairman Bob Nicholson and president of hockey operations Ken Holland also released a statement following Cave's death: "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."

The Boston Bruins, Cave's former team, sent their condolences to his family in a statement by team president Cam Neely: "On behalf of the entire Bruins organization I want to extend my deepest sympathy and condolences to Colby's family. 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."

The NHL official Twitter account tweeted out a video of Cave's first NHL goal when he played with the Boson Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens which came on December 17, 2018: "Colby Cave's first NHL goal. We will never forget."

The Toronto Maple Leafs also tweeted a message to Cave's family and his team: "The entire Maple Leafs organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Colby Cave. Our condolences are with Colby's family, teammates and everyone in the Edmonton Oilers organization."

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky took to Twitter to offer his condolences to Cave's family: "Janet and I are so sad to hear of Colby's passing. He was a wonderful hockey player with a bright future, but an even better person. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Emily and his entire family."

Austin Czarnik, the Calgary Flames forward who played alongside Cave when they both were in development under the Bruins, tweeted out his thoughts: "Rest In Peace caver, always enjoyed our time together. Was a pleasure and honor to play with you. You always had a positive mindset and could light a room with your smile and laugh. Praying for your family."