Gaborik taking surgery recovery day by day

Although it's tough to say if Marian Gaborik will be ready when the next season begins -- because really, who knows when that will be? -- the 30-year-old winger is feeling better since undergoing shoulder surgery this past June.

Gaborik, who played through the injury during the 2012 playoffs, said he is now skating four to five times a week with a group of his Rangers teammates. He is also working out to regain strength in his shoulder and has been receiving treatment from the team's medical staff (players are allowed this contact with team employees if injured).

"I feel okay. Still going through the process of trying to get it stronger while skating and working out," Gaborik said after helping out at a charity clinic for kids in Staten Island that teammate Brad Richards organized for Hurricane Sandy victims.

Gaborik said it has been tough to gauge just how close he is to being able to participate in full practices with contact drills.

"I'm trying to take it day by day," he said. "I haven't gone through any contact or anything like that, so I can't really see where it's at from that perspective. I'm going to try to do it soon and go from there."

How optimistic is he that a deal can be brokered soon and teams can be back on the ice playing as scheduled?

"We'll see," he said. "Everybody wishes that the season will start, but we want a fair deal."