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Oilers’ Colby Cave in coma after suffering brain bleed

NHL: OCT 02 Canucks at Oilers

EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 02: Edmonton Oilers Center Colby Cave (12) defends his own zone in the first period during the Edmonton Oilers game versus the Vancouver Canucks on October 2, 2019 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB.(Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

(UPDATE: Cave sadly passed away on Saturday at age 25.)

Oilers forward Colby Cave has been placed in a medically-induced coma after suffering a brain bleed, the team announced on Tuesday.

“I talked to Colby’s wife [Emily] this morning,” said Oilers GM Ken Holland. “What she said was over the course of last night, he had some headaches and stuff, so they got him to the hospital in Barrie and determined he had some kind of brain bleed, and he was transported to the hospital in Toronto.”

The team said that the 25-year-old Cave is currently in the critical care unit at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. His agent, Jason Davidson, confirmed to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, that this is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic and Cave was not involved in an accident.

Cave, who was acquired by the Oilers via waivers in Jan. 2019, has spent most the 2019-20 season with their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, playing 44 games and recording 23 points. He was up in the NHL for 11 games with Edmonton this season.

UPDATE: The Oilers say Cave is out of emergency surgery where doctors removed a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain. He remains in a medically-induced coma.

UPDATE 4/9: Cave’s family released the following statement on Thursday:

Colby is still in a medically-induced coma. This is giving his brain time to heal and rest from all he’s been through. We would like to thank the Oilers organization, the entire hockey community, all of our friends, and family, and everyone who has shown us love and support.

We would like to send a big thank-you to Colby’s critical care team, neurosurgeons and nurses at Sunnybrook Hospital. We appreciate all that you are doing for our Colby.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.