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From the Branches: Stand witness to art in this morning’s links

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Plus, training camp is approaching, T25 lists around the league, and scientists want hockey players’ brains. Literally.

Chicago Blackhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

There is a Toronto Maple Leafs corn maze on a farm in New Brunswick, and I care about absolutely nothing else this morning.

LOOK AT IT! I can’t believe that whoever made that corn maze actually managed likenesses of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner that I was able to identify before seeing their helmet numbers. I’m floored. Seriously. As someone who grew up with family in corn-growing country, I’ve seen some corn mazes in my life, and this one is superb. Corn is a difficult medium, and this is executed to perfection.

This is the pinnacle of human artistic achievement. Art is done now. We had a good run throughout all of human history, and people made some cool stuff I guess, but did Michelangelo ever engrave the faces of two beloved Toronto Maple Leafs players into a cornfield? No, he did not.

If anyone happens to be in New Brunswick and happens to stop by to see this corn maze, the great artistic masterpiece of our time, congratulate the makers for me. Also, maybe send me some corn. Mmmm, corn.

ICYMI

Toronto Maple Leafs Top 25 Players Under 25: #1 - Auston Matthews - Pension Plan Puppets
Maple Leafs media and fans come together to celebrate the best 1st overall pick the Leafs have ever made.

2017 Top 25 Under 25: community ranking Part 5 - Pension Plan Puppets
It’s time for you to rank the top 10 Maple Leafs prospects under 25.

Toronto Maple Leafs Niagara Falls training camp open to public - Pension Plan Puppets
The Leafs are making an event out of training camp in Niagara Falls. Scrimmages, the alumni game, practices and other activities are all public and free.

Other Teams’ T25 U25 Lists

Top 25 San Jose Sharks Under 25: No. 9 Rudolfs Balcers impressed during his first year in North America - Fear The Fin
The WHL rookie of the year finalist could prove himself a sniper with the Barracuda this year.

Top 25 Under 25, #2: Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Silver Seven
Fan-favourite firecracker is the runner up in his last year of eligibility

Flames Top 25 Under 25: #2 Dougie Hamilton - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Dougie is dang good and most people have finally accepted it.

Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 for 2017: Nick Schmaltz returns to No. 2 - Second City Hockey
Can Schmaltz build off a strong second half to his rookie season?

More Stuff We Didn’t Write

Marner ready for increased expectations - Article - TSN
The late-summer tradition of informal skates at NHL practice facilities revolves around two things – bragging rights and preparing for what lies ahead in training camp.

Pavel Datsyuk: "Kharlamov is a legend, I'm not really". Hockey - KHL. SPORT EXPRESS
Even run through the obvious imperfect solution of Google Translate, this Russian-language interview with Pavel Datsyuk is interesting (and he has some things to say about Mike Babcock).

Little Caesars Arena district to revitalize dead zone of Detroit
The district is part of a promise made by the Ilitch family to promote private investment in exchange for getting public dollars to help pay for the $863-million arena.

A Culture Change is Needed Within the Colorado Avalanche Organization - Mile High Hockey
The Colorado Avalanche front office has a long history of damaging relationships with it’s players.

NHL - Players still reluctant to donate brains for concussion studies
Studies to examine brains of deceased athletes are getting better participation from former NFL players than NHL players. And that's a problem, says a doctor involved in the studies.

Jess Jones signs with the Buffalo Beauts - The Ice Garden
This is bad news for the Markham Thunder. Jones was their top-scoring forward last year—by 13 points. We’ll see if they drafted enough talent to make up for the loss.