BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — If you wanted to find Colby Cave, you just needed to wander to the back of the bus. That's where the AHL veteran spent most of his time on roadtrips, playing card games and spending time with teammates.
"He was a special guy, he was one of the good ones," Condors broadcaster Ryan Holt said. "He always had a smile on his face, eating breakfast or pregame-warm up mix or playing cards on the bus with the guys, he was a truly special guy."
Cave died at the age of 25 on Saturday from a brain bleed. He was placed into a medically induced coma earlier in the week after an emergency surgery to remove a cyst causing pressure on his brain.
Cave spent most of his pro career with the Boston Bruins organization, but he played 44 games in Condsorstown last season before being promoted to the Edmonton Oilers. Holt said that he was a leader on a young Condors team and had a "wealth" of NHL experience for his age.
Former teammate Tyler Benson tweeted that he was "a warior on the ice and a gentleman off of it."
Was lucky enough to sit next to you all year in the dressing room always bringing a positive attitude and big smile to the rink
Head coach Jay Woodcroft released the following statement about Cave.
Heartbreaking news to end a very difficult week. Colby was just such a phenomenal person to be around. He was the epitome of what a professional hockey player should be: caring, driven, focused, and serious. Our thoughts and prayers continue to remain with Emily and the entire Cave family.
Cave was known to visit hospitals in Bakersfield and was very active in the community during the one season he spent with the team.