The lives of Brian and Bryan no laughing matter

STEVE SIMMONS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:44 PM ET

The lives of Brian and Bryan will come under much scrutiny this week.

Bryan Colangelo has the NBA draft on Thursday night. Brian Burke has his first NHL draft with the Maple Leafs the following night.

Both days are huge for Toronto teams in turmoil and their high-priced executives. The Leafs and Raptors have one thing in common: Both need to make a big impact this week and into July.

Burke has vowed to move up in the draft but has yet to find a willing partner. A place in the top five is where he'd like to be. The Leafs have the seventh choice.

It's not as clear cut in the NBA, where some people are calling this the worst draft in years. The Raptors pick ninth. Maybe someone like athletic teenager DeMar DeRozan will still be available at nine.

The NHL and NBA have never had their drafts on back-to-back nights, putting the Raptors in the spotlight Thursday, the Leafs in the same position on Friday. Both in desperate need of getting this right.

This and that

If the Montreal Canadiens and the Bell Centre sold for approximately $520 million yesterday and you figure the arena has to be worth some $200 million, then the hockey club itself was priced at just over $300 million. If that's the case, the National Hockey League won't be able to charge more than the price of the storied Canadiens for an apparent expansion team in southern Ontario, if the time ever comes to that .... Yes, Sidney Crosby should have shaken hands with Nicklas Lidstrom. But no, it's not necessarily his fault that he didn't. The NHL needs to better control the post-game environment at a Stanley Cup final, so we don't see the kind of chaos that resulted in handshakes being missed, trophies handed out without television sound, and too many men on the ice ... Maybe the Islanders are bluffing, but a whole lot of general managers believe they are leaning towards picking Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman first in the NHL draft. If that's the case, John Tavares will go second to Tampa and Matt Duchene third to Colorado ... One outdoor game is a major attraction for the NHL on New Year's Day. Two outdoor games on the same day is overkill.

Hear and there

This is the easiest Hall of Fame vote ever: Steve Yzerman, yes. Brian Leetch, yes. Brett Hull, yes. Luc Robitaillie, we can quibble about, but yes ... The same people who think hockey can survive in Phoenix were the ones who thought an NHL awards show in Las Vegas was a good idea ... At $10 million a year, it may be too much for Alex Rios to sign autographs, but shouldn't he be aware of how many outs there are in an inning? And you have to wonder what real pros such as Scott Rolen and Marco Scutaro think of Rios' brain cramps? ... Bad enough that Ottawa's Dany Heatley asked to be traded for the second time, but this time he apparently even included a "wish list" of teams he'd prefer to go to ... Wimbledon without Rafael Nadal is a submarine sandwich without the bun ... I tried to listen to the Argos game Wednesday on my car radio. Couldn't find it. I tried to watch it on TV when I got home. Couldn't find it. Not a great way to sell a product ... If I am Adam Dunn and I beat the Blue Jays Friday night in extra innings, I'm thinking: "Screw you, J.P. Ricciardi." ... A nice piece of sporting theatre: Bobby Orr hiding behind the Green Monster at Fenway Park, smiling and sneaking up on Canadian outfielder, Jason Bay ... And you wonder why heavyweight boxing is barely breathing? According to Ring Magazine, the top five heavyweights in the world all come from former states of the Soviet Union. And once upon a time there was Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Jimmy Ellis and Ron Lyle, all of them American.

Scene and heard

Only in Gary Bettman's NHL can a team without an owner, Phoenix, make a trade with a team that doesn't have a general manager, Florida ... Another distant NHL financial woe: Florida minority owner Bernie Kosar has declared personal bankruptcy ... It's hard to take baseball's rules seriously when Manny Ramirez gets suspended for 50 games but is allowed to get ready to return to the majors by playing in the minor leagues ... Under the Department of Very Weird: USC has hired the much-travelled, often-troubled former Raptor, Kevin O'Neill, as its new basketball coach. I happen to like O'Neill but he tends to have the shelf life of a quart of milk ... Definition of cool: Stopping by a restaurant Friday night and accidentally running into Dennis Hull and Eddie Shack ... American justice: Donte Stallworth has been suspended from the NFL, will spend 30 days in jail, two years of house arrest, eight years of probation for his part in the vehicular death of a pedestrian in Miami on March 14. Canadian justice: Rob Ramage has yet to spend a night in prison, and his case remains under appeal, for his part in the vehicular death of former hockey figure, Keith Magnuson. That accident took place in December of 2003 ... Expect Mike Babcock to be named Canada's Olympic coach on Thursday, and don't be surprised if Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock and Claude Julien are part of the coaching package.

And another thing

I see where Mike Gillis, who often fudged the truth about his professional relationship with disgraced agent David Frost, wants to build the Vancouver Canucks on the values of character and integrity. If that's the case, maybe he should start by resigning ... Poor Tommy John. The guy pitched 26 seasons in the big leagues and won 288 games and all anybody remembers him for is the surgical procedure named for him ... Call it the curse of the Conn Smythe Dinner: The last two Blue Jays representatives at the charity dinner were Jesse Litsch and Shaun Marcum. Both Tommy John victims ... If the Avalanche can't find a team to take Darcy Tucker by late June, it will buy out the former Leaf ... Yesterday was Koko B. Ware's 52nd birthday. And a happy birthday today to Robert Drummond (42), Bernie Kopell (76), Joe Flaherty (69), Bob Bourne (55) and Loren Woods (31) ... One more thing: Happy 62nd anniversary to ancient hockey writer Red Fisher and his bride who were married way back when Turk Broda was the best goalie in the game ... And hey, whatever became of Barry Pederson?


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