HC Lev Poprad
|Full name||Hockey Club Lev|
|Dissolved||2012 (refounded in Prague)|
|Based in||Poprad, Slovakia|
|Arena||Zimný štadión mesta Poprad
|League||Kontinental Hockey League
|Affiliates||Tatranskí Vlci (MHL)
HK Poprad (Slovak Extraliga)
Hockey Club Lev Poprad (English: Lion), also known as just Lev Poprad, was a professional ice hockey team based in Poprad, Slovakia that played in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for one season.
The team was originally called Lev Hradec Králové and was based in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. It had been intended to join the KHL for the 2010–11 season, for which it fulfilled all necessary conditions except that the Czech Ice Hockey Association refused to give permission to the club. Because of that, Lev's management decided to move the club to Slovakia, whereupon it has been accepted by the KHL's administration to participate in the league in the 2010–11 season. However later the KHL excluded the team from the league for the 2010–11 season because the team was not part of any national ice hockey governing body.
After further efforts, including joining the Slovak Hockey Federation (SZĽH), HC Lev was officially admitted to the KHL in May 2011. During the 2011–12 season, they played in the Bobrov division of the KHL, while HK Poprad continued playing their Slovak Extraliga matches in the same arena.
Almost two months after being officially admitted to the KHL, Lev announced the signings of the first five players on 30 June 2011. In the final roster, the majority of the players were from Slovakia and Czech Republic. Head coach was Radim Rulík and the team captain was Ľuboš Bartečko. Lev's regular season was planned to start on 10 September 2011 with a match at home against Avangard Omsk, but because of the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster, the start of the season was postponed and Lev had their first game on 12 September against Metallurg Magnitogorsk. However, for their first win they had to wait until the sixth game, a 2–0 away win against Dinamo Riga on 26 September. Lev also failed to qualify for the play-offs and ended the season as 21st overall, with 54 points from 54 games. The team's top scorer was Ľuboš Bartečko with 30 points (16 goals and 14 assists).
New team in Prague
Late in the 2011–12 season, a change of owners renewed speculation about a move to Prague, Czech Republic. In March 2012, the Czech Ice Hockey Association (ČSLH) granted permission for a KHL team to play in the Czech Republic, and at the end of April, a newly found team with the same name, HC Lev, but as a different organization, officially applied to the KHL to play in Prague. The Poprad-based HC Lev was disbanded after only one season.
Season by season record
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, OTW = Overtime Wins, SOW = Penalty Shootout Wins, SOL = Penalty Shootout Losses, L = Losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, Pts = Points
|2011–12||54||13||0||3||5||4||29||125||162||54||6th, Bobrov||did not qualify|
|First KHL match (at home)||12 September 2011||2–4 loss vs Metallurg Magnitogorsk|
|First KHL point||21 September 2011||3–4 SO loss at Atlant Moscow Oblast|
|First KHL win||26 September 2011||2–0 win at Dinamo Riga|
|First KHL shutout||26 September 2011||2–0 win at Dinamo Riga|
|First KHL win at home||30 September 2011||4–1 win at Dynamo Moscow|
Franchise scoring leaders
These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed KHL regular season.
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game
Affiliated with Lev Poprad were the Tatranskí Vlci (English: Tatra Wolves), a junior team playing in the Northwest division of the Minor Hockey League (MHL). The team consisted of Czech and Slovak players born 1990 or later. They played their home games in nearby Spišská Nová Ves. Just as HC Lev, the Vlci were also disbanded after only one season.
- "About Us". HCLev.eu. 2011-09-19.
- "Aréna Poprad" (in Slovak). HC LEV.
- "Transfer tales – new frontiers". khl.ru. 2012-06-22.
- "HC Lev will not play in 2010-11 KHL Championship". khl.ru. 2010-06-09.
- "HC Lev to join KHL". khl.ru. 2010-07-19.
- ""Лев" не сыграет в ближайшем сезоне" (in Russian). khl.ru. 2010-07-28.
- "Back to 24". khl.ru. 2011-05-09.
- "HC LEV predstavuje prvých hráčov" (in Slovak). hclev.eu. 2011-06-30.
- "Kontinental Hockey League Championship – Russian Ice Hockey Championship Season 2011/2012 Calendar". khl.ru. 2011-06-14.
- "LEV wins!". hclev.eu. 2011-09-26.
- "Permission granted". khl.ru. 2012-03-30.
- "Lev, drugs and healthy nutrition". khl.ru. 2012-04-25.
- "Projekt MHL Tatranskí Vlci" (in Slovak). hclev.eu.