Colby Cave remained in a medically induced coma Thursday after the Edmonton Oilers forward had surgery Tuesday to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain, the Oilers said.
Cave was hospitalized after sustaining a brain bleed overnight Monday into Tuesday.
"This is giving his brain time to heal and rest from all he's been through," Cave's family said via text message. "We would like to thank the Oilers organization, the entire hockey community, all of our friends, and family, and everyone who has shown us love and support. We would like to send a big thank you to Colby's critical care team, neurosurgeons, and nurses at Sunnybrook Hospital. We appreciate all that you are doing for our Colby."
Oilers captain Connor McDavid offered his support for Cave and his family.
"It's devastating," McDavid said Thursday. "Colby is a guy who is so well liked in our dressing room. I'm sure he's so well-liked in any room he's been in, he's such a good guy. There's no real way to say and express how I'm feeling about it. It's devastating. You just pray that he wakes up and the family is OK.
"All the fans out there, everyone just needs to keep Colby, Emily his wife, and the entire family in their thoughts and prayers. Just sending out good vibes for them. It's all we can do; we're all stuck inside. We can just think and pray that he comes out of this and pray that the family can get through it as well. I can't imagine how hard it is on them as well."
Cave's agent, Jason Davidson, told Sportsnet that there is no link to COVID-19 and his 25-year-old client was not involved in any kind of accident.
"The most confusing part for everyone is that you're talking about a young, healthy athlete," Davidson said. "This isn't supposed to happen to people to like Colby."
Cave scored one goal in 11 games with the Oilers this season and had 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 44 games with Bakersfield of the American Hockey League.
"I talked to Colby's wife this morning. What she said was over the course of last night, he had some headaches and stuff, so they got him to the hospital in Barrie (Ontario, where they live) and determined he had some kind of brain bleed, and he was transported to the hospital in Toronto," Edmonton general manager Ken Holland said. "Our thoughts and prayers are for Colby and Emily, and we're praying that we'll have good news as we go forward."
Cave is in his second season with the Oilers after being claimed off waivers from the Boston Bruins on Jan. 15, 2019. In three seasons with the Oilers and Bruins, Cave has nine points (four goals, five assists) in 67 games.
"This is devastating news," McDavid said. "I just think Colby is such a strong guy, he's a good Saskatchewan boy. He's a tough as they come, and if anyone is going to get through it, it's going be Colby Cave."
Said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, who signed Cave to his first NHL contract in 2015: "Colby is a special young man and he needs our love and support right now. We wish him well and send our thoughts and prayers to the Cave family."