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Can the Wings and Leafs work out a deal for Phaneuf?

dion phaneuf

TORONTO, ON - DECEMEBER 19: Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits for a faceoff against the Phoenix Coyotes during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 19, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Coyotes 2-1 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Claus Andersen

The Detroit Red Wings are apparently in talks to acquire Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. However, the deal may depend on Toronto’s willingness to assume $2 million of Phaneuf’s $7 million cap hit, according to MLive.

It’s been reported by two other media outlets that the Leafs are “trying real hard” and “working hard” to trade Phaneuf. But Toronto will be loath to assume any of his salary, given the 29-year-old defenseman only just signed a seven-year extension in December of 2013 -- a deal runs through 2020-21.

MLive reports that getting Phaneuf would “likely would cost the Red Wings their first-round pick.”

It’s also been reported that the Wings could offload to the Leafs forward Stephen Weiss, a free-agent disappointment signed through 2017-18, with Detroit assuming Phaneuf’s entire cap hit. Though that deal may depend on the Wings’ willingness to include d-man Brendan Smith.

Update from ESPN’s Craig Custance: