Ulf Samuelsson could have done a lot of things in 40 hours.
He could have run the Boston Marathon 13 times, watched four seasons of the hit TV show Game of Thrones or driven from Charlotte to Portland, Ore.
Instead, he spent it sitting.
Samuelsson, 52, who was introduced Friday as the new coach of the Charlotte Checkers, had a 16-year career in the NHL before his move to coaching. As a player, he racked up 2,453 penalty minutes — all of which he spent sitting on a bench in the penalty box.
That puts him 26th all-time in NHL history for penalty time.
“That’s a question that I do get now and then,” Samuelsson said Friday, “that I was able to gather that many penalty minutes.
“But it was over a very long career, so if you break it down I was really a nice, nice person.”
Samuelsson is the Checkers’ second coach hired in as many years. A year ago, the team hired Mark Morris, who led the Checkers to a 36-32-8 record.
But in early May, Morris resigned to become coach at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. The Checkers needed a replacement and Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis turned to Samuelsson, who spent the past three seasons as an assistant with the NHL’s New York Rangers.
Francis and Samuelsson were teammates on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90s. Francis said he’d spoken to him before about coaching the minor-league Checkers, an American Hockey League affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes.
The challenge now for Samuelsson - nicknamed “Tuffe Uffe,” or Tough Ulf in Swedish - may be returning the Checkers to the playoffs -- and keeping his players out of the penalty box he knows all too well.