New York Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky hopes his niece's performance at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics will provide inspiration for his players when they open training camp next month.
"Our outlook is great," Ledecky said in an interview with NBC-4 in New York. "We've got a lot of great young players coming up through our farm system, and more importantly the wonderful texts I've been receiving from the players who are actually inspired by Katie. We hope that that inspires us to compete for the Stanley Cup."
Ledecky and Scott Malkin assumed majority ownership of the Islanders on July 1. The Islanders open the 2016-17 season at the New York Rangers on Oct. 13.
Last season the Islanders won the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference and beat the Florida Panthers in six games. It was their first playoff series win in 23 years.
Ledecky, who was in Rio cheering for his niece, said he has heard from several of his players last weekend after Katie Ledecky set a world record in the women's 800-meter freestyle on Friday. Her time of 8:04.79 was almost 12 seconds faster than second place. She has won five medals, four of them gold.
"It was surreal," he said of her record-setting win in the 800 free. "Absolutely surreal. It was unbelievable. Katie's worked so hard for four years with an economy of stroke [Friday] and a world record that was just fantastic."