|Pall bearers carry the coffin of former Maple Leaf Peter Zezel into St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. (Mark O'Neill/SUN MEDIA)
MISSISSAUGA -- Hundreds of people packed St. Sava Serbian Orthoxdox Church with at least 150 left standing outside this morning to say goodbye to ex-Leafs centre Peter Zezel.
Zezel, 44, died Tuesday after long battling hemolytic anemia, a rare blood disorder, which almost claimed his life in 2001.
"It's a shock, we're disappointed, we all loved him and we can't believe it," former Leafs teammate Doug Gilmour said outside the church. "I remember our time together in Toronto and he was my roommate for two years and he's been coaching my son."
Gilmour's son, Jake, was a member of the Don Mills Flyers, the peewee team Zezel coached. He also operated a hockey and sports camp in Etobicoke, which teaches young players hockey and soccer skills.
The Toronto-born Zezel retired in 1999 after 15 seasons in the NHL. He played 873 games, scoring 219 goals and 389 assists, with a total of 608 points.
Some donned Leafs jerseys with Zezel's number 25 as a tribute.