Burke, Colangelo built bases for success but had to go

Brian Burke sits in the stands during the men's ice hockey bronze medal game between Finland and...

Brian Burke sits in the stands during the men's ice hockey bronze medal game between Finland and Team USA at the Sochi Olympics on February 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:48 PM ET

It can be no coincidence that the Maple Leafs started winning after Brian Burke was let go and the Raptors began their shocking ascent after Brian Colangelo was pushed out the door.

The operations of the Leafs and Raptors have never been quieter — devoid of bluster and fury — while the success of the teams has rarely been greater.

The Leafs are third in the Eastern Conference of the NHL. The Raptors are third in the Eastern Conference of the NBA. That has never happened before.

And yet at the same time, the fingerprints of Brian and Bryan all over the sudden rise of the Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment’s most prized properties.

Burke acquired Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf, to name five, while in charge of the Leafs. He hired Randy Carlyle to coach.


Photos