ok so i went to look at the damn thing. and well i don't even know how to get it off. it seems as if it's part of the heat sink. does that make sense?
I've run into this a bit. When you go to buy the new fan generally they come with a new heatsink and thermal goop (make sure the thermal paste comes with it).
I've seen so many cpu latching designs and some of them are the most ignorant looking things in the world. The majority have a common design idea, 2 bars pressured down and hooked on both sides of the cpu mount. Generally if I'm having a rough time ill push down and use a flat head to jimmy out one side so the other comes off easily.