Eight NHL franchises were based in Canada at the time of the lockout. Until the 1990s, the Canadian teams usually paid player salaries in Canadian dollars, but with the rise of free agency and a decline in the value of Canadian dollar, players and their agents increasingly demanded to be paid in . dollars. Canadian teams' revenues were, then as now, mostly in Canadian dollars, and the effects of the discrepancy were particularly acute for the small market franchises. The financial difficulties and uncertainties of competing in smaller Canadian markets led to two clubs moving to the .; the Quebec Nordiques to Denver , and the Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix . NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman successfully persuaded the US-based teams to donate towards a pool to mitigate the adverse effects of the exchange rate.