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SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - JANUARY 01: Colby Cave #26 of the Boston Bruins skates in the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on January 01, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

After suffering a brain bleed and being put in a medically-induced coma following emergency surgery earlier this week, former Bruins center and Oilers forward Colby Cave died Saturday morning at the age of 25.

“It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away this morning,” Cave’s wife, Emily, said in a statement released this morning. “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.”

Signed by the Bruins as an undrafted free agent following a successful juniors career with the Swift Current Broncos in Apr. 2015, Cave skated in 67 games between the B’s and and Oilers over three NHL seasons, and certainly left his mark on those fortunate enough to get to know the always-smiling talent from Saskatchewan.

“I was saddened to hear the news that Colby was unable to awaken from his coma and has passed. My heart aches for Emily and the entire Cave family,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said in a statement. “Colby was a special person! He signed with the Bruins as an undrafted player but his accomplishments in the WHL told a different story. His leadership qualities were beyond his years! When he arrived at development camp and in Providence for the 2015-16 season, he exhibited Patrice Bergeron-like characteristics, on and off the ice! Driven and committed to be an NHL player, Colby was also uniquely unselfish with his own NHL dream, helping his teammates and his coaches, game-by-game and day-by-day!

“Colby’s red hair underneath that ‘Peaky Blinders’ brimmed hat during the teams’ march into Notre Dame Stadium for the Winter Classic is a special memory… not because the Bruins won that day but because I know Colby cherished the opportunity to play in that game. The Hockey World lost a great person who was beloved by his teammates and everyone that was fortunate enough to spend time with Colby Cave.”

Cave, who made his NHL debut with the Bruins in Dec. 2017, scored the first goal of his NHL career in a Dec. 17, 2018 win over the Canadiens, and earned some high praise from Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy for his efforts as a hardworker who would do whatever was asked of him. On that night, that included centering Boston’s top line against their top rival.

It was just a sample of what made Cave such a presence for the Bruins organization from the moment he signed to the moment he left via a waiver claim from the Oilers, departing the organization after playing the 14th-most games in P-Bruins history, with 239 games (and with a letter on his jersey for the final stretch in the organization).

“He was a tremendous young man with passion, dedication and respect for the game of hockey,” Bruin center Patrice Bergeron said in a statement. “Beyond that he was genuine, respectful and always full of life. I’m glad our paths crossed, and I had the chance to get to know him. He will be dearly missed by all. On behalf of myself, my wife Stephanie, and our three kids, we send our most sincere condolences to his wife Emily and his whole family.

“We are keeping you in our thoughts and sending you strength and love during this unimaginable time.”

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.