I think it's common knowledge that many owners ask their players to restructure their deals to allow them to pursue potential free agents.(some players may decline others may accept) The only thing different here is that our loud-mouth owner decided to make it a public matter rather than a private one as it should have been.(as with the A-rod fiasco) I would think this sort of thing happens all the time but the media is not involved.
As for Hatcher, he was a great defenseman during his stay in Dallas and I would have loved for him to remain with the team....for the next 2-3 years. I didn't feel that it was in the Stars best interest to lock him into a 5 year deal at $6mil per. Hatcher has never seemed like a D-man that will age gracefully or be able to adjust his game in the latter stages of his career as Chelios/Stevens have. I think you will see a huge dropoff in his play in the last few years of his deal w/Detroit. Maybe even moreso after the ACL injury.