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Islanders finding inspiration in Olympic champion

New York co-owner Jon Ledecky said players have told him niece Katie Ledecky is motivating them in push for Stanley Cup @NHL

U.S. Olympic swimming star Katie Ledceky is providing inspiration to the New York Islanders.

"Our outlook is great," co-owner Jon Ledecky, Katie's uncle, told WNBC 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."

Jon, who was at the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics cheering for his niece, said he heard from several of his players last weekend after Katie 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 won five medals, four gold, in Rio.

"It was surreal," Jon said of Katie's 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."

Ledecky and Scott Malkin became majority owners of the Islanders on July 1. New York opens the 2016-17 NHL season at the New York Rangers on Oct. 13.

Last season, the Islanders won the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and defeated the Florida Panthers in six games. It was their first playoff series win in 23 years. They were emlinated in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lighting in five games.

Ledecky also has close ties to the Washington Capitals. The Bethesda, Md., resident has attended Capitals games since she was a child.

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