Chuck Lefley's amateur career was a little longer than most since he elected to spend three years in the service of the Canadian National Team. Beforehand, he'd already gotten two seasons of experience under his belt with the Winnipeg Rangers of the MJHL from 1964 to 1966.
In 1970, the Montreal Canadiens secured his rights in the Entry Draft. He turned pro with their chain the following year and began to face the usual uphill battle of attempting to crack a star-studded Habs' lineup.
During his first two years, he picked up only a handful of games in Montreal while spending the bulk of his time with the Montreal Voyageurs of the AHL. But in 1972-73, he finally caught on with the Habs and potted a handsome 46 points in 65 games. He also performed solidly during the playoffs as the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.
Lefley's point totals were sometimes given a boost while skating with Jacques Lemaire and Yvan Cournoyer. The trio was only a part-time gig, however. So the rest of the time, he relied on his trademark long stride and booming shot to remain effective as a scorer. Early in the 1974-75 campaign, Lefley was traded to the St. Louis Blues for Don Awrey. With the Blues, he continued to blossom as an offensive threat. By the completion of his second campaign with the club, he had amassed 85 points in 75 games.
He brought his sniper-status to training camp the following year but somehow couldn't seem to muster the usual sense of excitement and anticipation for the coming campaign. He began to notice that there was little joy left for him in playing pro hockey. As a result, by the end of the season, he surprised everyone by calling it quits. He walked away from a three-year contract to operate his 900-acre farm in Manitoba.
The following season, however, to the chagrin of Emile Francis and the Blues, he resurfaced in Finland where he played a year with Jokerit. He then put in a second campaign with Dusseldorf in Germany. It wasn't until 1979-80 that he returned to the Blues fold. But during training camp, he was heading up ice in an intra-squad game when he was thundered to the ice by Harvey "Too Tall" Bennett. The result was a separated shoulder that put Lefley out of action for some time. Afterwards, he only managed to appear in 28 games with very limited impact on the score sheet.
He came back to the Blues the following year to give his career one last try, but found that the tank was empty. After only 2 games, he packed it in for good in 1980.