Bob Frank and Brendan Smith

Brendan and his father-in-law Bob sit side by side on a bench in a locker room with hockey gear hanging behind them

Longtime Madison financial advisor Bob Frank had pretty much given up on ever being able to accompany his son-in-law, former Badger and veteran National Hockey League defenseman Brendan Smith, on a hockey road trip with the team.

Most league teams set aside a date each season in which players can invite their fathers or mentors along for an inside look at how a professional hockey team prepares for and travels to a game. For the dads, it’s tremendous fun, a closeup view of big-time hockey — without ever having to be checked into the boards.

Brendan Smith family

Courtesy of Bob Frank. From left: Nolan, Brendan, Samantha, Ryenn and dog, Brodie.