5 very real predictions for Minnesota sports in 2017

2016 was a downer for Minnesota sports fans, but what does 2017 have in store?
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As we've looked back on 2016, it wasn't one of the greatest years in Minnesota sports history. So just as every Chicago Cubs fan had done for years we look ahead and say – there's always next year!

But will 2017 be any better than 2016? Here are 5 predictions for what to expect in 2017.

5. Wild make a deep playoff run

The Minnesota Wild's winning streak has put them in the upper-echelon of the NHL. For years, Wild fans have wondered what this team could do in the postseason if they could find themselves with home ice advantage in a series at the Xcel Energy Center.

If Bruce Boudreau can keep the squad focused and playing like they have been – we may finally get to find out.

It could be a fun spring for Wild fans, with a deep playoff run – just stay away from those Game 7s.

4. Wolves shake things up with a Ricky Rubio trade

It doesn't look like the Timberwolves will be headed to the NBA's postseason this year and there have been reports that Tom Thibodeau is looking to shake some things up.

Expect the Wolves to move Ricky Rubio at some point in 2017 – either at the NBA's Trade Deadline or during the offseason.

Minnesota didn't draft Kris Dunn No. 5 overall to sit the bench for long. Dunn, like Rubio, is known for his defense – it would seem the stage has been set to make the Spanish point guard expendable.

The only question is what is the trade market?

3. Lynx return to the throne

They won their first WNBA championship in 2011, their second in 2013 and their third in 2015. So naturally in 2017 the Lynx will once again climb back to the top of the mountain in the WNBA.

With a cast made up of Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles and Minnesota's own Lindsay Whalen the Lynx are the favorites to win the title every year.

Cheryl Reeve's group has one more title run in them to become the greatest dynasty in WNBA history.

2. Adrian Peterson released by Vikings, signs with Houston

We think it will be time to for Minnesota to say goodbye to at least one major superstar.

We believe Adrian Peterson has played his last game in a Vikings uniform.

If true, Peterson's time with Minnesota had some great moments, some amazing accomplishments, but when it's all said and done left us feeling empty. There were no Super Bowl championships, no Super Bowl appearances and AP missed the majority of 2-of-his final three seasons in a Vikings uniform – oh what could have been.

Peterson enters the final year of his contract owed $18 million – all of that money is non-guaranteed. At 31, following his injury-riddled 2016 – there is no way the Vikings are going to pay him that.

While the Vikings may approach Peterson about taking a pay cut to finish his career in Minnesota – it doesn't appear that is all that high on AP's priority list.

In the past, AP has had an interest in playing for Dallas, however with the emergence of Ezekiel Elliott that also now seems unlikely, so Peterson's hometown of Houston might be a more natural fit.

1. Brian Dozier gets dealt to Dodgers

Unfortunately Peterson is probably not the only superstar Minnesota sports fans will say goodbye to in 2017. While the Twins don't need to trade Brian Dozier, it just appears that there's too much momentum to believe they aren't going to.

While St. Louis could certainly get into the mix, most of the talk has centered on the Los Angeles Dodgers – and it makes too much sense.

The Dodgers have the established pitching and prospects the Twins need to swing a deal, and Dozier would be an affordable option for the Dodgers at second base.

It would be painful to lose a player the caliber of Dozier, but there just isn't a better way for new Twins chief of baseball operations Derek Falvey and new general manager Thad Levine to fix the Twins' problems.

Don't expect the deal to happen for anything less than a king's ransom. One player the deal needs to include is Dodgers top-pitching prospect Jose DeLeon.

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