The 2012 Alternative NHL Awards: Best Designated Sitter

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 18: Andrew Brunette #15 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates up to a face off against the Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on October 18, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Blackhawks defeated the Coyotes 5-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A new Stanley Cup champion has been crowned, and the NHL is getting ready to honor its best & brightest stars at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on Wednesday. In the meantime, let's break out the Woopie Cushions. Yes, it's time for the 5th Annual Alternative NHL Awards, our opportunity to celebrate the opposite end of the hockey spectrum - those players who stick out for being underachievers, unlucky, or just plain odd.

This year I'll break this up into a series, starting with a look at those who pay the price for other players' crimes...

Hockey teams have a number of specialists available. You have checking centers, power play quarterbacks, agitators, enforcers, and faceoff experts, for example. Many teams, however, have a Designated Sitter, the one guy who heads to the box and serves penalties for someone else (when you have either a bench minor, or one on the goalie).


Andrew Brunette

#15 / Left Wing / Chicago Blackhawks

6-1

215

Aug 24, 1973



G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Andrew Brunette 12 15 27 -13 4

This season, Andrew Brunette of the Chicago Blackhawks led the way with 16 bonus trips to the box, which is pretty insane considering he only took two minor penalties all season! 88% of the time he went to the sin bin this season, it wasn't even his fault!

Brunette was followed by Columbus Blue Jacket Vinny Prospal and Detroit Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi with 12 each. Do we have a trend here, wherein cagey veterans get this job in the hopes that they can catch the other team unawares as they come back onto the ice?

Last season's leader in this category was J.P. Dumont, who was bought out by the Predators and took his game to Switzerland instead.

The top guys in the NHL in this regard are listed in the table below...

Player Team Total
Andrew Brunette Chicago 16
Todd Bertuzzi Detroit 12
Vinny Prospal Columbus 12
Nick Foligno Ottawa 11
Shawn Thornton Boston 10
Cody Hodgson Vancouver/Buffalo 9
Pa Parenteau NY Islanders 9
Tyler Seguin Boston 9
Petr Sykora New Jersey 9
Mikkel Boedker Phoenix 8
Bobby Butler Ottawa 8
Erik Christensen NY Rangers/Minnesota 8
Matt D'Agostini St. Louis 8
Danny Briere Philadelphia 7
Brett Connolly Tampa Bay 7
Nick Palmieri New Jersey/Minnesota 7
Teemu Selanne Anaheim 7
Phil Kessel Toronto 6
Nino Niederreiter NY Islanders 6
Chris Porter St. Louis 6
Raffi Torres Phoenix 6
Tom Wandell Dallas 6

Stay tuned for the rest of the 2011 Alternative NHL Awards, which will be handed out over the next couple days!

For previous years' winners, check out this series which dates back to 2008.

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