Kea never played Junior hockey, nor did he play collegiate hockey but he managed to turn professional in 1969 nonetheless. After two years with the Jersey Devils, and stops with the Seattle Totems and the St. Petersburg Suns, he was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Flames in 1972.
The defenseman made his NHL during the 1973-74 season when he played three games for the Flames, but he was a regular the following season. Kea spent the next five seasons playing his solid, steady game on the Flames blue line before being dealt just prior to the 1979-80 season.
Kea was traded to St. Louis along with Don Laurence and a second round draft pick in exchange for Garry Unger.
With the Blues Kea played three and half seasons before being sent to the minors. During the 1982-83 season St. Louis shipped him to their farm team in Salt Lake. Unfortunately, while toiling for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles tragedy struck. Kea hit his head on the ice during a game and suffered severe head trauma and was left handicapped as a result. Though a series of operations saved his life, Kea's hockey career was obviously over and he retired and spent time with his wife and children.
Sadly, this wouldn't be the only tragedy for Ed Kea and his family. In September 1999 Kea drowned at his family cottage. Kea was just 51 years old.
If he is known at all to new generations of hockey fans it is as Joe Nieuwendyk's uncle.
Received these red ink signed cards TTM.
Also included this signed b/w photo. Signed mostly in blue ink but somehow wrote my name as Steve in red.