Colby Cave, a professional hockey player who spent much of the 2019-20 season with the Bakersfield Condors, has died of a brain bleed. He was 25.
On Tuesday, Cave was hospitalized and in a medically induced coma in Toronto following an operation to have a cyst removed from his brain. His wife Emily announced that he'd passed away on Saturday morning.
“Our Colby was loved dearly by us, his family and friends, the entire hockey community, and many more," his family said in their statement.
"Words cannot express our sadness," Condors President Matthew Riley said in a statement. "Colby was a tremendous guy with a huge heart. We will love Colby and Emily forever."
“Colby was a terrific teammate with great character, admired and liked everywhere he played,” Edmonton Oilers chairman Bob Nicholson and general manager Ken Holland said in a joint statement.
Coach Jay Woodcroft added: "Heartbreaking news to end a very difficult week. Colby was just such a phenomenal person to be around. He was the epitome of what a professional hockey player should be: caring, driven, focused, and serious. Our thoughts and prayers continue to remain with Emily and the entire Cave family."
“Colby Cave was beloved as a teammate and friend, as a husband and son," American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews said in a statement. "The entire American Hockey League extends our deepest condolences to Colby's wife, Emily, and his entire family, as well as to those whose lives he touched in the Oilers and Bruins organizations and throughout hockey.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement that Cave’s “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,” he added.
Cave split time between the Condors and the Oilers this season and scored a goal in Bakersfield's final game before the coronavirus shut down the remainder of the AHL season. In 44 games, he had 11 goals and 12 assists for Condors in 2019-20, his first season with the team.