VANCOUVER - Willie Desjardins has built champions in major junior hockey and the AHL. Wholesale Patriots Jerseys . Now hell get the chance in the sports biggest league. Desjardins was hired as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks on Monday. Its his first NHL head coaching job, and hell join new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden and first-time NHL general manager Jim Benning as the Canucks rebuild following a disappointing 2013-14 campaign. "Ive been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time," said the 57-year-old Desjardins, whose coaching career has taken him from Japan to the Canadian national program, and from the WHL to the minor leagues, since he was first hired as an assistant with the University of Calgary in 1985. "To be part of such a great organization and NHL city is just a real honour." Desjardins was also rumoured to be a candidate to take over in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins boast a roster that includes superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The former coach of the WHLs Medicine Hat Tigers said a chance to return to Canada was too good to pass up. "Sidney Crosbys a heck of a hockey player obviously, but for me, when I looked at what was here — I looked at the two guys who are leading this (Benning and Linden), I looked at the quality of the players ... Canadian market, Vancouver fans — it was the right choice to come here." Desjardins, a native of Climax, Sask., most recently led the AHLs Texas Stars to a Calder Cup championship. He spent two years with Texas, winning the AHLs coach of the year award in 2012-13 when he led the Stars to their first ever South Division regular season title and the number one seed in the Western Conference for the 2013 playoffs. Prior to his tenure in the AHL, Desjardins spent two seasons as an associate coach with the Dallas Stars from 2010 to 2012. He also served as head coach (2002-2010) and general manager (2005-2010) of the Tigers, where he led the team to two Memorial Cup tournaments, including an appearance in the 2007 final. Desjardins was named WHL coach of the year for the 2005-06 season, and was also the recipient of the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award as the top coach in the Canadian Hockey League in 2006. Desjardins resume also includes stints on Canadas staff at two world junior tournaments and one world championship, as well as time coaching with the University of Calgary and in Japan. "Ive watched Willies teams play over the last 12 years," Benning said. "His teams play fast and work extremely hard. They play an up-tempo hard-skating kind of game. His teams play with that relentless attitude that we want our players to play with." Desjardins becomes the 18th head coach in club history and succeeds John Tortorella, who was fired after just one year behind the Canucks bench. Tortorella and former Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis were casualties of Vancouvers disappointing season that saw the Canucks miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Desjardins says he thinks the Canucks can become a playoff contender again. "We have so many great leaders on this team, and to get to be part of that group, Im looking forward to it," Desjardins said. "Theyve won in the past, theyll win again." Cheap Patriots Super Bowl Jerseys . The Senators will put the busy off-season and training camp behind them when they open their regular season on the road. They kick things off Friday against the Buffalo Sabres and then head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on Saturday. Phillip Dorsett Jersey . Auld made 37 saves in a 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday. It was Ottawas first game without starter Anderson, who is out indefinitely after cutting his hand Wednesday night, and it was evident the team wasnt sure how to deal with the change in goal. http://www.cheappatriotsjerseysonline.com/?tag=james-develin-jersey-online . - Tiger Woods only made it through 10 holes Thursday — this time because of the weather, not his back.PARIS – Eugenie Bouchard grew up admiring Maria Sharapova. "First, I noticed her cute dresses and things like that when I was young," said the 20-year-old Canadian, who met Sharapova when she was just eight-years-old at a tournament in Miami. "As a child, I looked up to her and I remember watching her in the finals of Wimbledon and thought what she was doing was so cool and I wanted to do the same thing." Bouchard and Sharapova will play on Thursday in the French Open semi-finals. It is the second straight year that the two have met at Roland Garros with the Russian prevailing in straight sets in the second round a year ago. "For sure I respect her," said Bouchard. "But now were in the semis of a Grand Slam, so Im going to respect her but not put her too high on a pedestal and really just battle. Thats what its going to be." Sharapova may be seeded seventh, but she has been widely considered the favourite to win the title since the top three seeds – Serena Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska – all lost in the first three rounds. And Sharapova is favoured to beat Bouchard (-325, 4/13 per BoDog) for the same reason she is expected to hoist the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen on Saturday: she has the experience. She made the finals here a year ago. She won the whole thing just two years ago. At the age of 27, she has already won the career slam and has an Olympic silver medal on her resume. "Achieving what she has, she is of course very strong mentally," said Bouchard. "It is one of her strengths. Im going to be ready for another battle. You know, the semis of a Grand Slam, thats what you have to expect. "Im just looking forward to the challenge." Bouchard is earning her own reputation for poise under pressure. She overcame a 2-5 deficit (two breaks) and a set point to win the opening frame against clay-court specialist Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Then, after dropping the second set 2-6, Bouchard dug out of a 1-4 hole in the deciding set by winning 12 straight points. She then served to stay in the match at 4-5, holding easily. "At the end of the day, whether I win or lose, I want to at least leave it all out there and try and at least battle. Jeremy Hill Jersey. Im proud of the way I did that in both the first and third. Shes a great player and a really good clay courter, as well. I knew it was a tough battle, and thats exactly what it was today. Im just proud of the way I stayed in there." Bouchard appeared to show some nerves after wasting a match point, serving at 6-5, with a double fault. She was asked if that was a sign she is, after all, human. "I show Im human all the time," Bouchard noted with a smile. "Yeah, you know, its one of those things. I didnt really worry about it. I think thats the most important thing: I didnt see it as a big deal, and I just regrouped for the next point, which allowed me to just give me a chance to get in a position to have a match point again. "Even on the second match point I missed a ball, but I was trying to go for it, so I didnt worry too much, either. "I think that was a bit the theme the whole match: even if I was down 5-2 or 4-1 in the third, not to worry too much, keep going, keep going, keep going, and it paid off in the end." Bouchards mental toughness and aggressive play have earned her comparisons to Sharapova. Does she like that? "There are positives and negatives," Bouchard said. "Of course shes a great champion, so to be seen as the next of someone who has won four slams and has been No. 1 in the world, its a compliment. "But at the same time, of course, Im my own person and I just want to be myself on the court, and you know, try and achieve what I want to achieve and just be seen as that." Bouchard is the only womens player to make the semis at both slams this season. She is part of the future of womens tennis and looking to prove the future is now. Bouchard readily admits that back in January when she made that magical run to the Australian Open semis, she suffered from a bit of stage fright at the start of a straight-sets loss to Li Na. "I was maybe a little bit frozen at the beginning of that match," she said. "Ill be much more ready this time." 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