The NHL star died on Saturday, less than a week after undergoing emergency surgery following a brain bleed

By Maria Pasquini
April 11, 2020 01:45 PM
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Colby Cave, Emily Cave
Colby and Emily Cave
| Credit: Emily Cave/Instagram

Edmonton Oilers player Colby Cave has died less than a week after suffering a brain bleed. He was 25.

“It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning,” read a family statement, which was written by his wife Emily. “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.”

In an emotional Instagram message, Emily, who was not able to spend much time in the hospital with her husband due to coronavirus restrictions, documented some of their last moments together at the hospital.

“To my best friend & love of my life, Colby,” she wrote. “My heart is shattered. The amount of physical, mental, and emotional pain I am in when I think about never seeing, touching, or holding you again is unbearable.”

“You are and will always be my person, my hero, the greatest thing to happen to me. I never dreamed of being a widow before our first wedding anniversary. Although, every cell in my body is lost without you, I promise to continue to make you proud,” Emily continued. “You were the best friend, husband, doggy daddy, and oh how I wished to see you as a baby daddy. I’ll see you again soon, Colb. You’ll be in heaven meeting me with a warm wet kiss.”

The NHL player was put into a medically induced coma at the Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Canada, on April 7.

“#Oilers & @Condors forward Colby Cave has been placed in a medically-induced coma & admitted to the critical care unit at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto after suffering a brain bleed overnight,” the team wrote on Twitter.

Emily went on to share that her husband had undergone emergency surgery. “Last night and today have been the worst days of my life,” she wrote in the post. “Colby is currently in surgery and they are fighting to keep him alive.”

“We need a miracle,” she added. “Please pray for my husband and best friend.”

In her final Instagram post before her husband’s death, Emily made a passionate plea for him to wake up, noting that she would wait as long as it took for him to get better.

“I’m waiting for you, Colb,” she wrote alongside a photo from their wedding day. “I always make you wait so now it is my turn to wait for you. I made you wait years before going out on a date with you. I made you wait at the altar. I make you wait every day when I’m rushing to get ready. I make you wait until I decide what I want to eat.”

“You always wait for us, so now we’re waiting for you. However long it takes, I’m waiting for you. You can do it, you can be a miracle. You need to be a miracle. I know you can. I’m so proud to be your wife, Colby Cave. I love you so much. I always will,” she added.

Colby Cave
Colby Cave
| Credit: Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The NHL star’s death was also mourned by both the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club as well as the Bakersfield Condors, an American Hockey League team that Cave also played for.

“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,” they wrote. “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 also paid tribute to Cave, noting that his “life and hockey career” were “inspiringly emblematic of the best of our game.”