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Sports Oilers honour memory of Colby Cave prior to first practice returning to play

02:45  14 july  2020
02:45  14 july  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave had emergency surgery Tuesday at Sunnybrook Hospital in He remains in a medically induced coma he was put into prior to the surgery he underwent. Cave is from Saskatchewan, having played junior for the Swift Current Broncos under ex- Oilers centre Mark

The Edmonton Oilers and the family of 25-year-old forward Colby Cave , who hailed from North Battleford, Sask., have created a new charity in his memory . UP NEXT. NOW PLAYING : newspolitics.

a close up of food © Provided by The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers returned to the ice Monday, but not before taking time to remember and pay tribute to teammate Colby Cave, who died in April after suffering a brain bleed.

"It's the first time we've all been together in a big group since Colby passed. Obviously those emotions are still fresh," team captain Connor McDavid told reporters on a Zoom call after practice at Rogers Place.

"It makes it even more real now that we're all together and he's not able to join us.

"He's obviously going to be in our thoughts and in our hearts as we go forward."

Cave, from Battleford, Sask., died April 11 in a Toronto hospital while in a medically induced coma following surgery to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain.

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The Battlefords came out to recognize one of its most well-known sons after he passed away last week. Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave died on April 11

Colby Cave Memorial Fund. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright ©

He played 67 career NHL games for the Boston Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers. The centre was called up for 11 games by the Oilers last season.

When the Oilers skated out before for their first official return to play practice, the scoreboard above centre ice displayed a picture of Cave in his orange Oiler uniform high-fiving fans beside the message "We Skate for Colby."

Head coach Dave Tippett said the team held a meeting about Cave's death prior to practice.

"Colby was an unbelievable young man, great teammate. Obviously a friend to everybody in our locker room," said Tippett.

"He would be with us today if he hadn't passed. He planned to be with our group (for the upcoming Stanley Cup tournament).

"He's with us in spirit."

The COVID-19 virus kept Cave's wife Emily from his bedside and continues to cast a long shadow over the NHL as it prepares to finish the season with 24 teams playing in isolation in two hub cities: Edmonton and Toronto.

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Oilers forward Colby Cave underwent emergency surgery Tuesday, during which doctors removed a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain. "The entire Oilers family is sending you all our love and strength right now." Cave played five seasons with the Western Hockey League's Swift

The Oilers have dipped into the waiver wire yet again, this time claiming forward Colby Cave from the Boston Bruins. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy spoke highly of Cave after a game in which he scored his first NHL goal back in December, suggesting his offensive game is coming around.

Players are allowed to opt out without sanction. Oiler defenceman Mike Green has already announced he will sit out, citing personal family health reasons.

Asked about it, Tippett said, "(The decision) didn't catch me off guard.

"(Green) was really struggling with the decision, but he decided that for personal reasons with his family it was the best situation for him, and you have to respect that.

"This is unprecedented times. You've got to allow for flexibility."

The first day of camp saw Ryan Nugent-Hopkins playing on a wing with Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian.

The Oilers open the best-of-five qualifying round Aug. 1 vs. the Chicago Blackhawks.

Their fortunes will rise or fall with McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who was crowned the regular season scoring champ after the season was suspended March 12, around the 70-game mark.

Nugent-Hopkins said while on hiatus he used some weights from his brother, did some roller blading and then began skating once the smaller rinks opened up in British Columbia.

The tournament will be a whirlwind, sometimes with three games a day in each of the hub cities with no fans cheering them on.

Nugent-Hopkins said there won't be any home ice advantage.

"We know it's going to be intense," he said.

"There's going to be a lot of energy. Without the fans we'll have to find ways to create our own energy."

Kassian said the practices are critical because there is very little runway before the games resume.

"There's no team that's ahead of any other team in this thing. Whoever comes in and whoever competes the hardest, whoever gets off on the right foot is going to have the most success, especially in these best-of-five series," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2020.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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