Ottawa Senators players Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson, Zack Smith and Colin Greening have all taken a break from playing in Europe, lending to the general tone of optimism that the end of the NHL lockout could be near.

Yet as has been the case throughout all the highs and lows of the four-month squabble between NHL owners and players, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson isnít allowing himself to get too excited, too soon.

In order to salvage a 48-game season, itís believed that games would have to start on Jan. 19 at the latest, with training camps opening Jan. 12. That means the sides have precious little time to resolve their differences or the season will be wiped out entirely.

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