Even when professional athletes attempt to block out the distractions, the distractions still seem to find them.

So there was Vancouver Canuck captain Henrik Sedin on Thursday night, standing in the pouring rain at son Valter's soccer practice, getting an earful about GM Mike Gillis's controversial 'line-in-the-sand' radio interview earlier that day.

“I'm aware of the interview, not from listening to it but from second-hand,” Henrik said following Friday's practice at Rogers Arena. “There were a lot of questions.”

Presumably, those questions came from soccer parents. On Friday, there were plenty more from Vancouver media members, all trying to prod Henrik for a reaction to the Gillis proclamation the Canucks would return to their successful puck-possession style of seasons past. Or else.

Said Gillis, in case you missed it: “If people don’t want to get on-side with how I view this team and how it’s supposed to play, then they won’t be here. Just like six years ago.”

Many interpreted that as a shot across the bow, or between the shoulder blades, of beleaguered head coach John Tortorella. The Canucks sat 10th Friday in the Western Conference with a week remaining in their season. They are all but officially punted from the playoff picture. They ranked 28th Friday in goals scored and 27th on the power play.

The numbers are wretched but, according to Henrik, the Canucks were playing a puck possession game, and rather successfully, until Christmas.