Todd McLellan said Tuesday he believes his former team, the San Jose Sharks, remains in good position to contend for the Stanley Cup.
McLellan, 47, was being introduced as Edmonton Oilers coach, less than a month after parting with San Jose.
"They still have a tremendous team," McLellan said of the Sharks, according to CSNBayArea.com. "They have tremendous athletes in that locker room. They'll be a force to be reckoned with."
McLellan and the Sharks announced April 20 he would no longer be their coach. He acknowledged it may have been time to move on.
"It was just time for the players and the coach to refresh, I guess is the best word," he said.
San Jose made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six of seven seasons under McLellan, missing this season, and advanced to the Western Conference Final in 2010 and 2011.
"We ended up losing to some very good teams: Chicago (in the West Final in 2010), Los Angeles (in the first round in 2014), teams that went on to win the Stanley Cup," McLellan said. "Sometimes you get beat by a better team. It's as simple as that."
The Sharks have not hired a coach. They reportedly are interested in a second interview with former New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer and have received permission to speak with former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was believed to have interest in the job, but it's unclear if he met with the Sharks. He is expected to make a decision Wednesday about where he will coach next season; Detroit and the Buffalo Sabres are the leading contenders.