The Cochrane Generals junior hockey club will be opening its camp at the end of the month in preparation for a modified Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL) season.

While two goalies set to return this season, there has been a wealth of interest expressed by other goaltenders to attend the Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 camp. The main camp runs Oct. 2 to 4.

"If a goalie is going on 18, they have the opportunity to try out for us and we can really evaluate them and give them a fair shot," says Jones.

As it stands now, the Gens will be playing in the HJHL's central pod of four teams in the regular season. They'll be squaring off with Airdrie Techmation Thunder, Mountainview Colts and the Three Hills Thrashers. 

The rest of teams will be playing in either the northern or southern pod. 

"Technically were not able to play against teams in our pod until Nov. 15," says Jones, "but that may be pushed back to Dec. 1."

They do, however, have the opportunity to play exhibition games and discussions are under way between the Gens and Okotoks Bisons to play a series of games. Then, the Gens would wait the required 14 days before playing teams in their pod.

Finer details continue to be finalized. The HJHL has a meeting with Hockey Alberta officials on Sept. 8 that will be followed by a league meeting on Sept. 14.

Currently, the Gens will be allowed to have 100 fans in the stands for their games with social distancing measures in place. Currently face masks won't be required, but that's subject to change based upon the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Cochrane.

Jones says COVID-19 rules vary from community to community. That, plus the extra cost of implementing safety measures, makes club operations more challenging, and costly. 

All teams except the High River Flyers have committed to ice a team this season. The Flyers took the year off and vow to come back stronger next season.

The season marks the return of the Thrashers after taking an one-year leave of absence.