Cave was placed into a medically induced coma after being airlifted Tuesday to Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to remove a colloid cyst. The cyst was causing pressure on his brain.
“It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning," Cave's wife Emily said in a statement released Saturday. "I 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 later posted a message to Instagram along with two images showing her hugging her husband as he lay in the hospital.
“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,” she wrote. “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."
Cave, a native of Battleford, Saskatchewan, was signed by the Boston Bruins in 2015 and reached the NHL with Boston during the 2017-18 season.
He was claimed on waivers by Edmonton during the 2018-19 season and played in 11 games with the Oilers in 2019-20, scoring one goal.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement following Cave's death, writing that the player's "life and hockey career, though too short, were inspiringly emblematic of the best of our game."