Oilers forward Colby Cave dies at 25

Oilers forward Colby Cave died Saturday morning. He was 25.

“It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning,” Cave’s family said in a statement. “I (Emily, Colby’s wife) and both our families are in shock and 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.”

Cave was placed in a medically-induced coma Tuesday after undergoing surgery to remove a colloid cyst from his brain.

Oilers general manager Ken Holland described Cave to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector Tuesday.

“Colby is a great kid. He’s a battler, a competitor and he’s respectful of people of the game,” Holland said. “When we had to tell him to go down to the American League, he was disappointed but he was never down. He took it like a pro, went down there, played hard and we called him back up a few times.

“He’s a true battler.”

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid told reporters Thursday that he was devastated to hear Cave was in a medically-induced coma.

“I just think Colby is such a strong guy. He’s a good Saskatchewan boy so he’s as tough as they come,” McDavid said. “I’m sure he’s been so well-liked in any room he’s been in because he’s such a good guy.”

Flames forward Austin Czarnik, who played four seasons with Cave in the Bruins’ system, shared his memories on Twitter.

During his four-year NHL career, Cave tallied nine points in 67 games. Over the course of five American Hockey League seasons, he posted 138 points in 283 games.

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