Ken Quinney began his professional career with Fredericton, of the AHL, in the 1985-86 season. Quinney had been drafted by the Quebec Nordique 205th overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft and had returned to his junior team in Calgary before joining Fredericton. The next season he got to see NHL action when he debuted on October 9, 1986 against the Detroit Red Wings. Almost three weeks later he scored his first goal.
The Nordiques visited Maple Leaf Gardens on October 21 to take on Toronto. Quinney was matched up on a line with Mike Eagles and the combination clicked against the Leafs. In the second period Steve Thomas tried to elude the Quebec forecheck by retreating toward his own goal but wound up having Quinney stripping him of the puck. Ken passed the puck to Eagles for the score. In the third period Eagles returned the favor 23 seconds into the frame. Jerome Dupont gave the puck away to Eagles, who set up Ken for the score. His first NHL goal came against Tim Bernhardt, who had just entered the game. The Nordiques sunk the Leafs 7-1.
Ken Quinney spent most of the next three seasons in the American Hockey League. The Nordiques used him sparingly over that time, only giving him 59 games with the parent club. Quinney joined the Detroit Red Wing system for the 1991-92 season. He led their farm team, Adirondack, to the Calder Cup. Quinney put up a point-a-game during the playoffs and had a nine game point scoring streak extend well into the final series against the St. John's Maple Leafs. Ken left for the warmer climate of Las Vegas, of the IHL, for 1993-94. The expansion Las Vegas Thunder played Quinney alongside Patrice Lefebvre and Radek Bonk. Quinney and Lefebvre elevated the play of the young Bonk enough that Ottawa selected the centre 3rd overall in 1994.
Quinney played in Las Vegas for five satisfying seasons and when he left the team in 1998 only Lefebvre remained from the original Thunder crew. Ken left the Thunder to play three seasons with the Frankfurt Lions before retiring as a player in 2001.