EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Emily Cave will have special gifts waiting for players when the Edmonton Oilers wrap up training camp.
She will be in attendance Saturday when Edmonton concludes camp with an intrasquad scrimmage, paying tribute to her late husband, Oilers forward Colby Cave. He died in April after suffering a brain bleed.
Emily won’t be able to make direct contact with any of the players because of physical-distancing restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic. So she decided to leave a personal letter and token of appreciation in their stalls.
“That’s my way of thanking them for the support they’ve given, wish them good luck and let them know Colby is proud of his teammates and brothers, and we can’t wait to cheer them on,” Emily said Friday on a conference call.
“Only Connor (McDavid) and (coach) Dave Tippett know what it’s going to be. It’s nothing big or anything like that. It’s just something special they can keep in their stall or that they can wear everyday.”
On Saturday at the scrimmage, all players will wear Cave’s No. 12, with the jerseys being auctioned later to raise money for the Colby Cave Memorial Fund.
“We are so excited to go and watch the game tomorrow. I was in tears the other night and had a moment, it hit me that this was the last time I’d see No. 12 on the ice,” Emily said.
Tippett is also excited for the scrimmage before his team opens up a best-of-five play-in series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Aug. 1.
“We just thought this game would pay respect to him and his family," Tippett said. "I think the players are looking forward to it. They respected everything Colby brought to this team. They want to see (the charity) help people that Colby would have wanted to help. It’s a very meaningful game for them.”
The 25-year-old Cave, from Battleford, Saskatchewan, 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. He played 67 career NHL games for the Boston Bruins and Oilers.