Lemieux on Crosby contract: “This is a great day for hockey”

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Even though Sidney Crosby’s 12-year, $104.4 million contract extension won’t be official until Sunday — he can’t sign before July 1 — the Pittsburgh Penguins have gone ahead and trumpeted arguably the biggest signing in franchise history.

Appropriately, Mario Lemieux was one of the first to praise the deal.

“This is a great day for hockey and tremendous news for the Pittsburgh Penguins and our fans,” Lemieux and Pens co-owner Ron Burkle said in a joint statement. “We are grateful for all that Sidney Crosby has done for our franchise since coming to Pittsburgh in 2005, both on and off the ice, and we look forward to having him in a Penguins uniform for the rest of his career.

“He is an excellent player and an even better person, and he is a great ambassador for the Penguins and for Pittsburgh.”

As for the particulars…

Insurance: According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Crosby’s deal won’t be fully insured for two reasons. One, because of his concussion history and two, because no NHL contract longer than seven years is fully insurable.

Breakdown: The deal has an average annual value of $8.7 million — the same cap hit Crosby’s got on his current deal. We likely won’t know the yearly salaries or if the contract is front-loaded until Sunday, when it becomes official.

$100 million club: Crosby becomes just the third NHL player to secure a contract of $100 million or more (Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk) and joins a list of $100 million pro athletes that includes Albert Haynesworth, Mike Hampton, Barry Zito and Gilbert Arenas. Just a few of the many success stories!

Related: Report: Pens to announce massive Crosby contract Sunday (Updated)