Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave passed away early this morning. He was 25. His wife Emily released a statement through the Edmonton Oilers.
“It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning. 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.”
Last Tuesday Cave was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a brain bleed. He had surgery where doctors removed a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain. After surgery, he remained in a medically induced coma until his passing earlier today.
Cave was born on December 26th, 1994, in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. He played his minor hockey in the Battlefords, before spending four seasons with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League.
Cave wasn’t drafted to the NHL, but after a strong 20-year-old season with the Broncos the Boston Bruins signed him to a three-year entry-level contract on April 3rd, 2015. He played one game for Providence in the American Hockey League to end the regular season, and the following October he was a regular in Providence. He played three seasons in Providence and was very consistent, posting seasons of 13-16-29, 13-22-35 and 11-22-33 points. During his third season, he was recalled to the NHL and played three games with Boston.
His NHL debut was in Boston against the Winnipeg Jets on December 21st, 2017, only five days before his 23rd birthday. He also played in Tampa and Florida on April 3rd and 5th later that season.
He began the 2018/2019 in Providence and was very productive, scoring 6-12-18 in 15 games. He was rewarded with a recall to Boston. He played his first game on November 23rd against Pittsburgh. He tallied his first NHL assist against the Detroit Red Wings on December 1st, 2018. And then he scored his first NHL goal, and picked up his first multi-point game in Montreal on December 17th during a 4-0 Bruins win.
Cave assisted on the first goal by Joakim Nordstrom and scored to make it 2-0 late in the second period. He was named third star. His trademark smile really stands out after this goal.
He played 20 games for the Bruins, before they put him on waivers and he was claimed by the Edmonton Oilers on January 15th, 2019. Cave made his Oilers debut the following night in Vancouver.
He scored his first goal with Edmonton on February 28th in Ottawa.
He scored again against the Senators, this time in Edmonton, on March 23rd, midway through the third period to tie the game.
Cave began this season with the Oilers playing the first two games. Then he was reassigned to Bakersfield. He was recalled on November first and in his first game after the recall he scored his final NHL goal — a beauty against the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 2nd, 2019. He played his final NHL game on February 21st, 2020 against the Minnesota Wild.
HUMBLE AND HARDWORKING…
Cave was a humble, hardworking man from rural Saskatchewan. Bakersfield head coach Jay Woodcroft shared this about Cave via text.
“Phenomenal teammate. Somebody who oozed character, determination and sportsmanship. The absolute epitome of what a professional hockey player should be: caring, driven, focused and serious.”
Manny Viveiros was an assistant coach during the 2018/2019 season with the Oilers and shared this about Cave.
“Colby never took a day for granted that he was in the NHL. He worked and competed hard in practice like it was his first day in the NHL. I had to kick him off the ice on game day skates when he was playing because he would stay out too long. In the short time I had the pleasure to know him, he left me with the impression how with hard work, determination and character you can accomplish almost anything. He was role model for everyone who had the pleasure to know him,” wrote Viveiros.
“This is horrible news. He was such a great young man. My deepest condolences to Emily and the entire Cave family,” added Viveiros.
Former teammate Sam Gagner wrote this on Twitter.
I don’t understand any of it. What I do know is that Colby will be deeply missed. A great person with a great attitude who brought a smile to the rink every day. Deepest condolences to his family. I am so sorry for your loss. Rest In Peace Caver.
— Sam Gagner (@89SGagner) April 11, 2020
Rest in peace Colby Cave.