NHL Mishandled Colby Cave Celebration of Life Ceremony

I wasn’t shocked the Edmonton Oilers misplaced to the Calgary Flames 5-0 on Saturday night time. I wasn’t shocked the excessive octane group seemed gradual and flat towards their rivals. Nevertheless, I used to be shocked when the Oilers famous person and the league’s face referred to as out the NHL. Possibly shocked isn’t the precise phrase. I used to be happy with him. Connor McDavid normally sticks to the corporate strains and doesn’t say something that you just wouldn’t count on him to say. However, he gave us a few seconds of perception into how tough Saturday was for him and his teammates.

In common McDavid style, he took possession, doesn’t make excuses. Nonetheless, he couldn’t assist query what the NHL was considering to place him and his teammates via such an ordeal. Only a few hours earlier than the sport, the Oilers gathered in a ballroom in a Calgary resort to observe the Colby Cave’s Celebration of Life Ceremony.

Edmonton Oilers Colby Cave. (AP Picture/Gene J. Puskar)

Till a number of weeks in the past, the Oilers would’ve been in Edmonton. They might’ve been residence and with family members on a really emotional day. Nevertheless, as a result of COVID outbreak throughout the Vancouver Canucks group, the league modified the schedule. It took away the Oilers’ time without work, not simply any time without work. It was a special occasion that had been deliberate for months.

Remembering Colby Cave One 12 months Later

Colby Cave, or Caver as McDavid and most of his associates referred to as him, died April 11, 2020, of a mind bleed. The 25-year-old’s premature demise despatched shock waves via the league. I used to be working for Metropolis-TV in Edmonton on the time. I couldn’t sustain with the variety of reactions and condolences coming in from groups and gamers in North America and worldwide. Edmonton followers left flowers and effectively needs round Rogers Place. They began an on-line petition to place Cave on the quilt of NHL 21. The group arrange the Colby Cave Memorial Fund to help neighborhood packages emphasizing psychological well being and offering entry to sports activities for underprivileged youngsters.

One yr later and his reminiscence lives on. Like many individuals in Edmonton and the hockey neighborhood, I watched the Celebration of Life with tears in my eyes. We’ve come to know Cave’s spouse Emily and his household effectively over the previous yr. When Emily took the rostrum, there wasn’t a dry eye. She discovered the phrases to say, “via his tragic demise, he’s a relentless reminder to myself and lots of others to proceed to dwell life to the fullest.”

Disgrace on the NHL

A couple of hours later, the Oilers took to the ice in Calgary, no less than they tried to. Disgrace on the NHL for placing the gamers and even the fan base via that. However, this wasn’t a made-for-TV second. It’s not a film the place the group rallies and wins the sport. That is actual life. The League had a number of choices. In truth, neither the Oilers nor Flames performed the next day. However the NHL wanted a sport for the late Saturday night time window, and each of the opposite North Division video games had been within the East. However there have been choices. A number of choices, and placing the Oilers via this could not have been one in all them.

Colby Cave Swift Current
Colby Cave with the Broncos (Darwin Knelsen – Swift Present Broncos)

There are days as a reporter that you just don’t neglect. Cave’s demise was a kind of days for me. I labored in Swift Present many years in the past, and lengthy earlier than Cave performed for the Broncos. However, I all the time preserve tabs on the group and the alumni. My harm watching that ceremony is a small fraction of the ache it should’ve brought about his household and associates. The Oilers deserved the time without work to be with their family members and to honour their teammate – Caver.

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