Hockey Club Lev Poprad (Lion), was a professional ice hockey team and a former member of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) based in Poprad, Slovakia. The Lev existed for only one year, playing in the 2011–12 KHL season.
|HC Lev Poprad|
|League||Kontinental Hockey League|
|Home arena||Tatravagonka Arena|
|Hockey Club Lev Poprad|
The team was originally called HC Lev Hradec Kralove 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 Ice Hockey Federation, Lev Poprad 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 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, 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 PragueEdit
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 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.
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 vs Dynamo Moscow|
Franchise scoring leadersEdit
These are the top-ten point-scorers in KHL franchise history.
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game
Affiliated with Lev Poprad were the Tatranski Vlci (Tatra Wolves), a junior team playing in the Northwest division of the Junior 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.
- "HC Lev will not play in 2010-11 KHL Championship". Kontinental Hockey League. June 9, 2010.
- ""Лев" не сыграет в ближайшем сезоне" (in Russian). Kontinental Hockey League. 2010-07-28.
- "Back to 24". Kontinental Hockey League. 2011-05-09.
- "Kontinental Hockey League Championship – Russian Ice Hockey Championship Season 2011/2012 Calendar" (PDF). Kontinental Hockey League. June 14, 2011.
- "Lev from Slovakia to Prague". International Ice Hockey Federation. April 30, 2012. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- "Permission granted". Kontinental Hockey League. March 30, 2012.
- "Lev, drugs and healthy nutrition". Kontinental Hockey League. April 25, 2012.
- "Lev Poprad Career KHL Stats". QuantHockey.com. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
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