To protect the captain or not to protect the captain.
In a fantasy hockey GM situation, I look at the situation and see the following:
If Giordano gets picked up Seattle, I don't believe the Kraken will, but if his 6.75 cap hit plus Stone's 1.16 cap hit off the books, the Flames could bring in Alec Martinez (4.0 left-handed shot) and Tyson Barrie (3.75 right-handed shot)...presuming the latter two hit the UFA market. I'll miss you Gio.
In the real world, attachment to a player by management and a fan base are a real thing. Does he have another couple good years left in him, why yes most likely. What are you willing to trade away to protect those last couple years? Up Highway Two that hockey team traded Caleb Jones and draft pick for Duncan Keith...would you trade the Flames equivalent to keep your captain?
The aforementioned attachment to Gio likely means an expansion draft is the only way he leaves town. Let's not just swing the doors open and boot him out. Have a plan for how to use his cap hit to replace him plus an upgrade over another defenceman or forward. I can't help but feel that done correctly, the impact of Gio being selected could create the more positive outcome for the Flames.
Then again, my fantasy hockey team finished last last year.