Here are my updated rankings of the six major local pro teams in order of which is most likely to win a championship next:
1) Lynx: They are showing signs of their dominant run coming to an end, but a recent seven-game winning streak restored faith.
2) Vikings: They have a ton of top-end players signed for at least the next three years.
3) Wild: This has less to do with all the depth moves made by new GM Paul Fenton and more to do with the nature of the NHL and the rest of the teams in this market.
4) Twins: There is still a path to a bright future, but you have to squint harder to see it than you might like.
5) United: Once the Loons move into their new stadium next year, player spending can become a priority.
6) Timberwolves: The path in the West is only getting tougher, and there are a lot of long-term roster questions right now.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.