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Flyers say Tibbetts wasn't going to play

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers placed forward-center Billy Tibbetts on waivers on Monday.

Tibbetts, obtained from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for center Kent Manderville on March 17, had one assist and 69 penalty minutes in nine games with the Flyers.

Tibbetts' only assist with Philadelphia came in his first game with the Flyers, against the Penguins on March 23. In 33 games with Pittsburgh this season, Tibbetts had one goal, five assists and 109 penalty minutes.

Tibbetts, 27, was suspended by the league for two games league after receiving his third instigator penalty of the season at Carolina on March 28.

Tibbetts pleaded guilty in 1994 to raping a 15-year-old girl at a 1992 party in Scituate, Mass. He was 17 at the time and received a suspended sentence of three to five years, with four years' probation.

When he moved to Pittsburgh, he was identified as a convicted sex offender in fliers given out in his neighborhood.

Later in 1994, Tibbetts received a suspended sentence of six months and 18 months' probation on charges of assault and battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct and intimidating a witness.

In 1995, he was found guilty on charges of assault and battery with a BB gun. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison and was ordered to serve the rape sentence at the same time for violating probation in that case.

Tibbetts was paroled Oct. 29, 1999, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said.

Philadelphia general manager Bob Clarke said in a prepared statement that Tibbetts' background did not figure in the decision to place him on waivers.

"We knew when we got Billy that he had a background but he wasn't a problem," Clarke said. "It was a 'numbers' problem for us and we didn't think he would be happy not playing. Other than the fact that he wasn't going to be playing, we just felt at this stage we were better off keeping the guys that we have."

Also, the Flyers recalled left wing Guillaume Lefebvre from the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League in time for Monday night's game against the Florida Panthers.

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