Mayers takes over for legend

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

Jamal Mayers was not about to step on the toes of a Maple Leafs legend.

After being traded to his home town team from the St. Louis Blues during the offseason, the veteran winger wanted to wear his familiar No. 21.

There was just one problem. A big one at that.

Any Leafs fan can tell you that the No. 21 always will be associated with the great Borje Salming, who many argue is the greatest defenceman in franchise history.

ASKS SALMING

In the end, Mayers did the only thing he could do.

He phoned Salming and asked for permission to wear the number, which Salming generously granted.

Of course, Salming has a soft spot for Mayers. The two have a history together.

Back when Jamal was just a wee boy of 10, his mother, Doreen, moved her two sons to a quiet suburb of Toronto. There, Jamal met a new hockey buddy named Anders Salming, whose father just happened to be a stud blue liner with the Leafs -- Borje Salming.

Mayers lost track of his friend when the Salmings moved back to Sweden just as Anders was entering high school. Now, thanks to Jamal's request, the two have reconnected.


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