Colby Caverns "The National Hockey League family mourns the terrible death of Colby Cave, whose life and hockey career, albeit cut short, were inspiringly reflective of the finest of our game," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "A great Canadian who made an even greater impact on our sport, his spirit will live on through the players he inspired to greatness." Cave was just 42 years old.
Cave's death came less than two months after that of Wayne Gretzky, his former teammate with the Edmonton Oilers. The two men were very close friends and played together on the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team. They remained good friends even after they ended their professional careers and went their separate ways, with Cave moving to Canada to start a new life with his wife and daughter. He was working as a carpenter when he was killed in a fall from the third floor apartment where he was staying while recovering from back surgery.
Police in Brantford, Ontario, where Cave lived, confirmed that he had fallen while out walking his dog on Tuesday morning. His death has been reported by several news outlets including the Toronto Star, CBC, and the New York Times.
There have been calls from some members of the hockey community to make today "Colby Cave Day" in honor of the man who inspired so many to success in a way that only sports can.
Kivlenieks, Matiss "The National Hockey League was heartbroken to learn of goalie Matiss Kivlenieks's abrupt and terrible death," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated. "Matiss was a great young man full of energy and enthusiasm who we were very fortunate to have in the league for only one season. The sport of hockey will miss him immensely."
Kivlenieks, who played in just four games this season, died on October 8th at the age of 26. He had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in January 2016.
The cause of death was reported as AML. He was born on March 2nd, 1989 in Moscow, Russia.
His family moved to Canada when he was six years old. He played junior ice hockey for the Red Deer Rebels before making his pro debut with the Colorado Avalanche in 2014-15. In 4 games that season he had a 3-1 record with a 1.50 goals against average and.944 save percentage.
He returned for another season with Colorado but did not play again after being diagnosed with cancer. He finished his career with 31 wins, 24 losses, and five ties in 104 games played with a 2.92 goals against average and.914 save percentage.
During the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals, he died. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, he played two seasons with the Calgary Tigers in the Western Canada Hockey League from 1921 to 1923. Perished on the first road trip of the 1923-24 WCHL season. Played with the Ottawa Senators for thirteen seasons. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, he is one of only nine players who have their numbers retired by both the NHL and the WHA.
Also lost in an accident during World War II. Played eight seasons in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Black Hawks. Scored 101 goals and added 276 assists for 377 points in 514 games. Retired as a player after the 1942-43 season. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958. His number, 9, was retired by both the Canadiens and Blackhawks.
Drew three consecutive days off to be with his wife who was giving birth to their fourth child. Died of pneumonia following surgery to remove part of his lung. Was 30 years old.
Lost fighting Canadian soldiers in Italy. Killed in action on April 4, 1945. Youngest player to die during World War II.
Scored 114 goals and added 272 assists for 396 points in 588 games. Retired after the 1950-51 season.
On January 15, 30 hours after his fall, Masterton died without ever regaining consciousness. He is the only player in NHL history to die as a direct consequence of an on-ice injury. For many years, Ron Harris was troubled by his involvement in Masterton's death: "It troubles you for the rest of your life." The incident prompted the NHL to create a safety committee that continues to work with its partners to find ways to improve player safety.
Ron Masterton was a rugged forward who played eight seasons in the National Hockey League. Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 1962 NHL Amateur Draft, he also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks. Masterton began his career with the Maple Leafs, but was traded to the Black Hawks at the end of the 1967–68 season. That year, he helped the Blackhawks win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.
After leaving the NHL, Masterton played one more season in the World Hockey Association with the New York Raiders before retiring in 1979. After his retirement, he worked as a security guard for the New York Rangers. On January 15, 2009, he was killed when he fell down a flight of stairs at a hotel in Kingston, Ontario. He was 54.
Masterton's death brought back painful memories for Ron Harris, who had been serving as president of the Blackhawks at the time of his death. "I remember going to the airport to see him leave for Chicago," Harris said.