Billy Tibbetts

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Billy Tibbetts
Born (1974-10-14) October 14, 1974 (age 40)
Scituate, MA, USA
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 212 lb (96 kg; 15 st 2 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Huntsville Havoc
Danbury Madhatters
Chicago Wolves
Rockford IceHogs
Idaho Steelheads
San Diego Gulls
Houston Aeros
Springfield Falcons
Las Vegas Wranglers
New York Rangers
Hartford Wolfpack
Philadelphia Flyers
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins
Johnstown Chiefs
Birmingham Bulls
Sioux City Musketeers
HPK
HIFK
EHC Olten
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1994–2012

William Thomas Tibbetts (born October 14, 1974) is an American retired professional hockey player who last played for the Cape Cod Bluefins of the Federal Hockey League.

Playing career[edit]

ECHL[edit]

Tibbetts started his career in the ECHL with the Birmingham Bulls, playing two games with the team as a 19 year old rookie during the 1994–95 season. The following season, he would sign with the Johnstown Chiefs. Tibbetts finished the season with 37 goals, 31 assists, and 68 points, ranking third on the team behind established ECHL veterans Don Parsons and Trevor Jobe. His 300 PIMs was the second highest on the team that season, finishing only behind Jason Courtenmache's 363 PIMs. Because of a ruling which involved the violation of his probation, this would be Tibbetts' last season of professional hockey until the year 2000.

Rape and prison[edit]

In 1994 Tibbetts plead guilty to statutory rape of a 15 year old girl in 1992, when he was 17 years old.[1] His sentence was suspended for 42 months. However, in 1995, while on probation for the statutory rape case, Tibbetts was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a BB gun), disorderly conduct and witness intimidation.[2][3] As a result, Tibbets served 39 months in prison;[4] the sentence on the assault and battery charges was 30 months, but it would be served concurrently with the previously suspended sentence for rape. As a result of the convictions, Tibbetts had to register as a sex offender and could not play games in Canada.

NHL[edit]

On August 13, 2000, Tibbetts would sign Professional Tryout (PTO) contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL.[5] He would later be assigned to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, where he would score 38 points in 38 games before being recalled by his parent club later that season. For Tibbetts to reach the NHL, even after three and a half years of jail time and adversity, Penguins owner/center Mario Lemieux at the time considered this to be "a great accomplishment" and that it was "a great story".[6] Tibbetts would spend another partial season between Wilkes-Barre and Pittsburgh before being traded to Philadelphia. On March 17, 2002, Tibbetts would be traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for defensive forward and faceoff specialist Kent Manderville.

Tibbetts' tenure with the Flyers was short lived. He played nine games with the Flyers, averaging less than 6 minutes a game.[7] Tibbetts was also suspended for two games during his short tenure for instigating a fight, which resulted in his third penalty of the night. On April 9, 2002, 23 days after he was traded to Philadelphia, Tibbetts was placed on waivers. Tibbetts "did everything he was supposed to do, which included going to anger management classes",[8] Flyers GM Bobby Clarke said. Clarke later said that he released Tibbetts because of a "numbers game", which had Tibbetts behind five centerman and Marty Murray ready to come off the IR.[8] Tibbetts would start the 2002–03 season with the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL. On December 16, 2002, Tibbetts would sign with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League.[9] In 11 games with the Rangers, he would go pointless and would finish with only 12 PIMs.

Return To ECHL[edit]

On October 17, 2003, Tibbetts signed with the San Diego Gulls of the ECHL, but was later assigned to two different AHL teams during the 2003–04 ECHL season. On January 9, 2004, Tibbetts was recalled by the Springfield Falcons and returned to the team on January 23. Two months later, on March 20, 2004, he was loaned to the Houston Aeros.[10] Both times he was returned to the Gulls due to "behavorial problems".[11]

On October 5, 2004, Tibbetts re-signed with the San Diego Gulls,[12] but spent time on the injured reserve (IR) list because of back problems. San Diego waived Tibbetts on November 12, 2004, citing a "zero tolerance policy because of past conduct problems".[11] Two days later, Tibbetts was claimed off waivers by the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. Tibbetts received an indefinite suspension on November 19, 2004,[13] due to a match penalty as a result of a highsticking penalty[14] against Bakersfield Condors forward Todd Alexander. This was Tibbetts' first game as a member of the Las Vegas Wranglers.[15] Tibbetts returned to the ice on December 10 after a ten game suspension.[16] After receiving a fourth ejection in thirteen games, Tibbetts was placed on waivers by the Wranglers. He later was claimed by the Toledo Storm, but never played a game for them.[17] Tibbetts declined to report to the Storm and was later traded to the Idaho Steelheads[18] for future considerations. He played fifteen games with the Steelheads, scoring three goals with eleven assists. On March 17, 2005, Tibbetts was ejected from a game against the Louisiana IceGators for not having his fight strap tied down during a fight against IceGators forward Chris Thompson. Tibbetts later went after referee Chris Ciamaga but was restrained by three Steelheads teammates.[19] Tibbetts earned a second game misconduct and a gross misconduct for this incident, and four days later, Tibbetts was handed a second indefinite suspension of the 2004–05 ECHL season. On March 21, 2005, Tibbetts was released from the Idaho Steelheads.

Various Minor Leagues and Europe[edit]

In 2005–06 he started the season with the Rockford Icehogs of the UHL. On December 8, 2005, Rockford Icehogs announced that they loaned Tibbetts to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.[20]

Tibbetts reported to the 2006–07 Boston Bruins training camp as part of the "Be A Bruin" promotion, a team approved promotion which allowed one player of each position (forward, defenseman, goalie) of various leagues to take a chance at participating in a Bruins training camp. The promotion was originally intended for amateurs who wanted a shot at playing for the Boston Bruins,[21] but because Tibbetts was a member of the Chicago Wolves at the time, his entry (submitted by his father) would be permitted. Tibbetts reported to camp on September 9, 2006 but was released on September 18. He would later sign a tryout contract with HPK of the Finnish SM-liiga. After only four games with HPK, Tibbetts left the team without notice and signed with rival HIFK.

On November 7, 2007 he signed a contract with EHC Olten of the Swiss National League B

On February 18, 2009, Tibbetts signed a three-game contract with the Huntsville Havoc of the SPHL and would later sign a contract for the remainder of the season five days later. Tibbetts would finish his tenure with 15 points in 12 games, but would later get suspended for two games for blindsiding Columbus Cottonmouths defenseman Kyle Lundale with a blindside punch to the head.

After a 32 month sabbatical from professional hockey, Tibbetts has resumed his playing career with the Cape Cod Bluefins of the Federal Hockey League, signing with the team on December 3, 2011. In his first game since April 2009, Tibbetts scored an empty net goal and assisted on four others in a 5-4 victory over the Danbury Whalers.[22] Tibbetts followed up his 5 point night with a three point game where he scored a goal and two assists.[23]

Other legal problems[edit]

In 1994 Tibbetts pled guilty to statutory rape of a 15 year old girl in 1992, when he was 17 years old.[1] His sentence was suspended for 3.5 years. However, in 1995 Tibbetts was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct and witness intimidation.[2][3] As a result, he served 39 months in prison.[4]

In addition, Tibbetts was also arrested in August 2007 for leading police on a high-speed car chase, not long after having led police on a different high speed chase earlier in 2007.[24][25]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1994–95 Birmingham Bulls ECHL 2 0 1 1 18
1995–96 Johnstown Chiefs ECHL 58 37 31 68 300
1996–97 Did Not Play
1997–98 Did Not Play
1998–99 Did Not Play
1999-00 Did Not Play
2000–01 W-B/S Penguins AHL 38 14 24 38 185 12 4 6 10 55
2000–01 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 29 1 2 3 79
2001–02 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 33 1 5 6 109
2001–02 W-B/S Penguins AHL 24 13 17 30 193
2001–02 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 9 0 1 1 69
2002–03 Hartford Wolfpack AHL 35 7 10 17 172
2002–03 New York Rangers NHL 11 0 0 0 12
2003–04 San Diego Gulls ECHL 40 18 35 53 256
2003–04 Springfield Falcons AHL 6 0 2 2 25
2003–04 Houston Aeros AHL 8 0 8 8 22 1 0 0 0 0
2004–05 San Diego Gulls ECHL 7 4 5 9 56
2004–05 Las Vegas Wranglers ECHL 13 1 4 5 132
2004–05 Idaho Steelheads ECHL 15 3 11 14 132
2005–06 Rockford Icehogs UHL 13 5 6 11 55 7 7 3 10 20
2005–06 Chicago Wolves AHL 46 20 22 42 249
2006–07 HPK SM-liiga 4 4 4 8 4
2006–07 HIFK SM-liiga 15 3 8 11 24 5 1 1 2 10
2007–08 EHC Olten Swiss-B 9 7 7 14 78
2008–09 Danbury Madhatters EPHL 3 1 4 5 9
2008–09 Huntsville Havoc SPHL 12 8 7 15 30 4 1 5 6 10
ECHL totals 135 63 87 150 904
AHL totals 122 47 73 120 674
NHL totals 82 2 8 10 269

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Tibbetts suspended four games". CBC Sports. 2001-01-29. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  2. ^ a b Dellapina, John (2002-12-17). "Bure Good News For Rangers". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  3. ^ a b Diamos, Jason (2003-03-19). "N.H.L.; Rangers Release Tibbetts". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  4. ^ a b Kalson, Sally (2001-03-28). "How should rapist, now a Penguin, pay for his crimes?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  5. ^ "Pens sign player with criminal record". Canoe.ca. 2000-08-13. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  6. ^ "How should rapist, now a Penguin, pay for his crimes?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2001-03-28. 
  7. ^ "PUZZLING ACQUISITION TOPPED ONLY BY QUICK EXIT". Philly News. 2002-04-09. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  8. ^ a b "ZoomInfo Cached Page". Cache.zoominfo.com. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  9. ^ "New York Rangers Sign Billy Tibbetts - AP Online | HighBeam Research". highbeam.com. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  10. ^ "ECHL, America's Premier AA Hockey League". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  11. ^ a b "SignOnSanDiego.com > Sports -- Gulls waive Tibbetts, cite 'zero tolerance'". legacy.signonsandiego.com. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  12. ^ "Gulls re-sign Billy Tibbetts". Allducks. Com. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ Nick Christensen. "Fiery Tibbetts is back on ice – Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004 | 9:17 am". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  16. ^ "Newest Wrangler skates with an edge – Friday, Nov. 26, 2004 | 9:39 am". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  17. ^ Nick Christensen. "Gulutzan trying to land NHL player – Monday, Jan. 17, 2005 | 8:41 am". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  18. ^ Nick Christensen. "Tibbetts returns to Las Vegas with no ill will for Wranglers – Friday, Feb. 11, 2005 | 10:09 am". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  19. ^ Nick Christensen. "Tibbetts released after trying to attack referee – Monday, March 21, 2005 | 8:58 am". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  20. ^ Patrick Kissane (December 15, 2005). "SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP: The Billy Tibbets Show". Ciachort.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  21. ^ "Tibbetts to get his shot". The Boston Globe. 2006-09-09. 
  22. ^ DanburyHockey.com: Whalers and Bluefins Establish New Rivalry December 4, 2011
  23. ^ Chris Brodeur (December 8, 2011). "Seifert's 4 goals lead Whalers past Bluefins". newstimes.com. 
  24. ^ "Man arrested after high-speed chase through South Shore". Boston Globe. 2007-08-13. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  25. ^ Underwood, Mike (2007-08-14). "Ex-Scituate hockey star nabbed after police chase". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 

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