WARMINGTON: Cherry loved Connor McDavid’s goal almost as much as Bobby Orr’s

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It was the second-best NHL goal Don Cherry ever saw in 75 years in hockey.

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“It was a beauty,” said Grapes of the Friday head-turner by Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid against the New York Rangers.

No. 97 deked four Rangers and the goalie for a highlight-reel marker seen around the world.

“He went straight up the middle,” said Cherry. “He’s special.”

In fact, on March 5, 2012, Cherry with son Tim, myself, photographer Ernest Doroszuk and former Toronto copper Ross McLean, witnessed a 15-year-old McDavid score one like that at Carnegie Arena.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

“It was the same goal,” said Cherry. “He’s amazing.”

He and Tim saw McDavid score a similar one at 13 years old.

  1. Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid scores a late game goal on New York Rangers’ goaltender Alexandar Georgiev on Friday night.

    SIMMONS SAYS: McDavid’s amazing goal truly one of a kind

  2. Jack Eichel (right) Connor McDavid battle each other during a game between the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers in March of 2019. With Eichel’s trade to the Vegas Golden Knights last week, the top two picks in the 2015 NHL entry draft will be facing other several times a season playing in the Pacific Division, an enticing scenario, for sure. 

    TRAIKOS: Eichel ‘motivated’ to prove Sabres and detractors wrong following trade to Vegas

  3. Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers poses with the Hart Trophy in 2017. He also won the Hart in 2021 and is a favourite to take the trophy in the 2021-22 NHL season.

    TRAIKOS: Will anyone be able to put up more points than Connor McDavid this season?

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“We said we better keep an eye on him,” said Tim, who for 17 years was an OHL scout. “We were right. We saw him score many highlight-reel goals.”

But for Grapes, a former NHL Coach of the Year who will be 88 in February, the best goal he ever witnessed was when coaching the Boston Bruins and Bobby Orr went end-to-end through the entire Atlanta Flames team and put the puck in the net so effortlessly while appearing to not break a sweat.

“It was such a stunning goal, the crowd was in shock and didn’t cheer for 10 seconds,” said Grapes. “Connor’s goal is a classic, too. Pavel Bure, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Alex Ovechkin have all scored some dandies, too. But I still think Bobby’s was the best.”

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