The Capitals assigned defensive prospect Cam Schilling to the AHL’s Hershey Bears Tuesday morning, ending his bid for a roster spot at the start of this shortened NHL season.
Schilling, 24, was a long shot to make the Capitals roster out of training camp given the glut of blueliners with NHL experience competing for playing time. The Capitals had eight defensemen in camp and veteran Tom Poti, who is currently on a conditioning assignment with the Bears, also is trying to earn a place in the lineup after missing two years with various injuries.
“Why would I be here if I didn’t think I could make this team?” Schilling said Monday. “But I can only control so much, so I can just play and do as much as I can, but other than that it’s just trying to get better every day.”
The reassignment is a setback for Schilling, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Indiana native back in Washington at some point this season if injuries warrant a call up.
Schilling said he was already familiar with the system thanks to Coach Adam Oates’s stint as co-coach of the Bears during the lockout. That familiarity should also make it easy for him to adapt should he ever be recalled to the Capitals.
“It’s basically the same thing. There’s little tweaks here and there, but overall it’s the same system,” Schilling said. “I think they want to have their minor league team do the same thing, so if guys are called up or sent down, stuff like that happens, they don’t have to learn a whole new system. It’s the exact same.