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. "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."
Rest in peace, Colby Cave. 🖤 https://t.co/oHBUdNAGII— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 11, 2020
Cave was airlifted Tuesday to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto and had been in a medically induced coma after having emergency surgery to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain.
Emily Cave and other family members were unable to visit Cave in the hospital over the past few days because of COVID-19 rules.
On Wednesday night, Emily Cave posted on Instagram that the family needed a "miracle." Many in the hockey community offered support for Cave, including Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who called his teammate "one of the toughest guys I know."
"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," NHL commissioner Gary 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."
Players and teams from across the NHL and other hockey leagues expressed their sympathies.
"Colby was a terrific teammate with great character, admired & liked everywhere he played," Oilers chairman Bob Nicholson and general manager Ken Holland said in a joint statement. "Our thoughts & prayers go out to his wife Emily, his family & friends at this very difficult time."
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Just doesn't make any sense ... Heavy heavy heart today as I try to wrap my head around this. You were an amazing person and always brought so much energy and positivity into the room and in peoples lives. You will be deeply missed Caver. Sending all my love to Emily and the entire Cave family through this difficult time.
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
Gone from us way too early. Was lucky enough to sit next to you all year in the dressing room always bringing a positive attitude and big smile to the rink. You were a warrior on the ice and a gentleman off it. Thanks for being a great teammate and friend. Rest In Peace Caver https://t.co/xeeXWL7WRZ— Tyler Benson (@TylerBenson_17) April 11, 2020
A native of Battleford, Saskatchewan, Cave scored one goal in 11 games with Edmonton this season. Originally undrafted, he had four goals and five assists over 67 NHL games with the Boston Bruins and Oilers.
"As an undrafted free agent from Saskatchewan, Colby chose the Bruins and once he came to our organization, he seized the opportunity and showed on and off the ice that he was a special hockey player and person," Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement. "He was, and will always be a Bruin, and he will be dearly missed by everyone who was lucky enough to know him."