The Chicago Blackhawks capped off one of the historic seasons in professional sports history with their 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday. The Stanley Cup champions started the season with 24 games without a regulation loss. The title validated Chicago's regular-season success.

Or did it? One could argue the results of the season were tainted by the NHL lockout that lasted from September to January. The season was shortened to 48 games, and preseason rituals were out of sync.

The Blackhawks became the eighth major sports franchise to win a championship in a lockout or strike-shortened season. Each team experienced its own set of quirks, some serving as challenges and others as boosts.

Shortened Season Sports Champions Slideshow

 

1972 Oakland Athletics

The 1972 MLB strike lasts 13 days and cancels 86 games. Since the league refuses to pay the players for their time on strike, the missed games are never made up. The most controversial result of the strike comes in the A.L. East standings. The Tigers win the division by a half game over the Red Sox, but the Tigers play one more game than the Red Sox. Detroit clinches the division after taking the first two of three games against Boston in the final series of the regular season. Meanwhile, the Athletics win the A.L. West by five and half games and beat the Tigers in the ALCS in five games. In the World Series, the Reds take Oakland to seven games. The A's prevail in Game 7 in Cincinnati behind World Series MVP Gene Tenace for their first of three consecutive rings.

 

1981 Los Angeles Dodgers

On June 12, the MLBPA began a strike over the issue of free agent compensation. The mid-season work stoppage caused 713 games to be missed before an agreement was reached on July 31. Due to the split season, the MLB altered the playoffs rules to include four extra teams. In the temporary 1981 format, the first-place team in each division from the first half of the season played the division's first-place team in the second half of the season (if the two division winners were the same, a wild card team was picked) in the first round of the playoffs. Due to this format, the Cardinals and Reds, who finished with the best overall records in the N.L. East and N.L. West, respectively, did not make the playoffs because they finished second in their divisions in both of the splits. The Dodgers, the N.L. West first-half champions, defeated the Yankees in six games in the World Series. Co-MVPs Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager, along with rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela, led the L.A. charge.

 

1982-83 Washington Redskins

The 1982 NFL strike lasted from Sept. 21 to Nov. 16. During this time, the NFLPA hosted two AFC-NFC All-Star Games, neither of which drew more than 9,000 fans. Not all stars participated, but the Redskins' John Riggins did. "I guess I'll do just about anything for money," Riggins said after one of the games. The schedule was restructured to nine games and eight teams were awarded playoff bids. The Redskins beat the Dolphins 27-17 in Super Bowl XVII. Riggins, who had the 43-yard go-ahead touchdown rush in the fourth quarter, was named the game's MVP.

 

1987-88 Washington Redskins

The 1987 strike began after Week Two and lasted through Week Six. All Week Three games were cancelled and replacement players represented NFL rosters in Weeks Four through Six. Some veteran stars, such as Joe Montana and Randy White, disregarded the plight of the NFLPA and joined in the replacement games. The replacement games' results counted toward the 15-game regular season, contributing toward playoff seeding. The defending champion Giants, who went 0-3 during the replacement portion of the season, missed the playoffs by two games. The Redskins again won a shortened season, taking Super Bowl XXII, 42-10 over the Broncos. Doug Williams is voted Super Bowl MVP.

 

1994-95 New Jersey Devils

The 1994-95 NHL lockout lasts from Oct. 1 to Jan. 11 and stripped 468 games from the schedule. A 48-game season is the result, and no inter-conference play takes place during the regular season. During the lockout, the NHLPA organizes the "4-on-4 Challenge" exhibition tournament and Wayne Gretzky starts the Ninety Nine All Stars Tour. In terms of the actual season, the Devils meet the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final. In New Jersey's first Final appearance, the Devils sweep Detroit, and Claude Lemieux wins the Conn Smythe Trophy.

 

1998-99 San Antonio Spurs

The 1998-99 lockout was the third in NBA history, but the first work stoppage to cut games from the schedule. When an agreement was reached on January 20, the season was shortened to 50 games. The season began the post-Jordan-Bulls Era and attendance dropped considerably. The NBA was helped by two playoff storylines in the East and West. In the Eastern Conference, the eighth-seeded Knicks, who snuck into the playoffs by one game, became the first eighth seed to make the NBA Finals. Some highlights from their run included Allan Houston's game-winning floater against the Heat and Larry Johnson's four-point play against the Pacers. In the Western Conference, the top-seeded Spurs lost just one playoff game before the Finals behind the play of rising superstar Tim Duncan. In the Finals, the "Twin Towers" of Duncan and David Robinson disposed of the Cinderella Knicks in five games.

 

2011-12 Miami Heat

The 2011 NBA lockout was spearheaded by issues regarding the division of revenue and features of the salary cap and luxury tax. When an agreement was ratified on Dec. 8, the schedule was cut to 66 games. The season began on Christmas Day with five games played, including a 2011 Finals rematch between the Mavericks and Heat. Miami watched the championship banner raised in Dallas and won the game 105-94. The Heat would be on the other side of the banner a year later, as LeBron James won his first title in 2012 when the Heat defeated the Thunder in five games.

 

2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks

During the lockout from Sept. 15 to Jan. 12, 510 games were cancelled, including the Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs from Michigan Stadium. NHL employees were cut, revenue suffered and fan interest declined. When the 48-game season began on Jan. 19, the league hung on a hinge before its savior arose in the Windy City. The Chicago Blackhawks opened the season with an NHL-record setting 24 games earning at least a point (21-0-3). Still, the top-seeded Blackhawks nearly left the season with nothing after going down 3-1 in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Red Wings. However, Chicago fought back, all the way to a dramatic Finals victory in Game 6 in Boston Monday night.

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* The first 18 games of the 1995 MLB season were cancelled because of the strike that carried over from 1994, but this is generally not regarded as a shortened season. The Braves beat the Indians in the World Series.