Is Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf worth $7M a year?

Can the Maple Leafs afford to pay Dion Phaneuf $7 million US per season?

Can they afford not to?

While the two sides have “kicked tires,” according to a source familiar with the process — in other words, agreed to talk down the road — no formal discussions have taken place as of yet.

“Don’t read too much into it … yet,” the source said.

Phaneuf, 29, has a cap hit of $6.5 million this season. According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, he reported hearing the bar has been set at seven years for a total of $50 million.

Asked about negotiations, Phaneuf remained elusive — just like he usually is on the topic.

“I’m leaving that to my representatives at Newport Sports,” Phaneuf said on Tuesday. “That’s just the business part of the sport.