Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave died Saturday morning, four days after having surgery to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain. He was 25.
Cave's wife, Emily, released a statement confirming the news.
"It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away this morning," the statement said. "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."
Emily Cave also wrote "We need a miracle" on Instagram Wednesday, one day after her husband was placed in a medically induced coma at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto to stop a brain bleed.
"On behalf of the Edmonton Oilers hockey club and the Bakersfield Condors, we wanted to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our teammate Colby Cave after his passing earlier this morning," the Oilers said in a statement. "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."
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and American Hockey League president and CEO David Andrews also expressed their sympathies.
"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," Bettman said in a statement Saturday.
"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."
Andrews added the following statement: "Colby Cave was beloved as a teammate and friend, as a husband and son. 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."
Cave's agent, Jason Davidson, told Sportsnet on Tuesday that there was no link to the coronavirus and that his client was not involved in any kind of accident.
"The most confusing part for everyone is that you're talking about a young, healthy athlete," Davidson said. "This isn't supposed to happen to people to like Colby."
Cave played 11 games with the Oilers this season and 44 for the Condors.
The Boston Bruins signed Cave as an undrafted free agent to a three-year entry level contract in 2015. The Oilers claimed him on waivers in January 2019.
Cave recorded nine points (four goals, five assists) in 67 career games between the Oilers and Bruins.
--Field Level Media