Heritage Junior Hockey League has found itself having to dispel some pretty nasty rumours of its demise.

Yesterday, league officials made it clear: the HJHL will be returning with at least the same number of teams. While some teams may be departing, others have expressed interest in joining. It could result in net growth.

Officials say they have been in constant contact with its member teams, the Alberta Junior B chair as well as the other four league presidents throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

While waiting for the all-clear from health officials, team reps, including those from the Cochrane Generals, have been discussing scheduling options to determine the best course of action.

Gens head coach and general manager Kurtis Jones says they are currently re-signing players and expect to have about 16 returning. They've also had over a dozen players express interest in trying out for the team.

"I have to re-sign some players because some rumours are saying our league is folding. Someone from the KI (Kootenay International Junior Hockey League) was saying our league is folding, which it's not."

On Monday, the Gens will be meeting with arena officials to discuss ice time.

While they can not officially practice as a team, Jones says he is considering arranging informal training sessions where players will hit the ice six at a time.

The Gens are holding their annual general meeting on Thursday, June 18 at the King Solomon Lodge, 120 Centre Ave. It starts at 7 p.m.

One top priority is recruiting some new board members, says Jones. Finances will be reviewed, and the coming season will be discussed.

People are welcome to attend in person, and for the first time they can also participate remotely via Zoom, says Jones.

He says those wanting to participate via Zoom can email Jones at gmcochranegenerals@gmail.com or cochranegenerals@gmail.com for log-in information.