April 3, 1933 (age 82) Edmonton, AB, CAN (
National Hockey League, Pittsburgh Penguins
Billy Dea AHL Hall of Fame induction speech
William Fraser Dea (born April 3, 1933) is a former professional ice hockey centre and head coach in the National Hockey League.
A minor league standout, Dea began his NHL career with a brief fourteen game assignment with the New York Rangers during the 1953–54 season. In 1957, he joined the Detroit Red Wings as a starting two-way forward. The next season, he was traded mid-season to the Chicago Black Hawks. For the next nine years, Dea would play exclusively in the American Hockey League, before expansion gave him another crack at the NHL. During the 1968–69 and 1969–70 campaigns, he was a regular on the Pittsburgh Penguins. He then returned to the Red Wings for an additional two years, ending his career with 67 goals and 54 assists in 397 games. In 1975, Dea became an assistant coach with the Red Wings.
In retirement, Dea joined the Detroit front office. During the 1981–82 NHL season, he became the head coach as a mid-season replacement for Wayne Maxner. He currently serves as a scout for the Florida Panthers.
In 2017, he was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame.
Dea earned the nickname "Hard Rock" for his punishing style of play. He is an uncle to NHL defenceman James Wisniewski.