Who was Colby Cave, really? He earned his fame on the ice as an athlete in the National Hockey League, first donning black and gold for the Boston Bruins, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2015. During January of the 2018-19 season, the Saskatchewan native returned to Canada to play for the Edmonton Oilers. The 25-year-old athlete played only 67 games in the NHL, and had a promising career ahead of him. He tragically passed away on April 11 after undergoing emergency surgery to remove a cyst which caused pressure to his brain. Colby is survived by his loving wife, Emily Cave, his parents, Al and Jennifer and his sister, Taylor.

His passing was announced in this statement from the family of Colby Cave: “It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning. I (Emily) 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.” 

To the hockey community, he was a promising athlete, but the legacy that he leaves behind reaches far beyond the bounds of the sports world. During his life, Cave was vocal in his support for mental health awareness, promoting mental health campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk on Instagram and Twitter. Bell Let’s Talk serves to encourage more conversation surrounding mental illness, in efforts to destigmatize the subject. His passion for providing support for those suffering with mental illness is shared by Emily, who has also been a driving force in normalizing healthy and necessary discussions regarding mental health. Emily co-founded You Are More, an initiative which strives to inspire others to see past their obstacles and embrace individuality for people struggling with mental illness and other unique circumstances. The Colby Cave Memorial Fund, established by Colby Cave’s family and the Oilers, aims to continue the work about which he was so passionate. In addition to carrying on Colby’s legacy, donations made to the fund will “go toward community programs with an emphasis on mental health initiatives and providing access to sports for underprivileged children.” 

In light of such sudden tribulation, the way his family, friends, fans and the Oilers administration have come together to keep Colby Cave’s spirit alive is a testament to the strength and resiliency that grows from a common love for sports and, moreover, a common love for Colby. 

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