What a difference four years can make.

Back in January 2010, then-Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke was busy shipping a Matt Stajan-led package out west in exchange for Dion Phaneuf.

Nearly exactly 48 months later, the Calgary Flames president of hockey operations was inking the 30-year-old centre to a four-year, US$12.5-million extension Monday evening.

Stajan never resigned himself to the fact he’d be on the move again when Burke was hired by the Flames last year, but he smiled Tuesday when asked about the contrasting situations.

“When your bosses show you that they want you and they respect you, obviously, as a player it makes you feel a lot better and you want to do everything you can to prove them right,” said Stajan, as a select group of Flames took part in an optional skate at the Saddledome. “Burkie traded me out of Toronto, so people would think the opposite.

“But I have a great relationship with him, and he made it pretty clear that he wanted to keep me here, and I made it clear that I wanted to be here, and we got something done. I’m going to do everything I can to prove that’s the right decision.”

A day earlier, Burke was quick to point out he was in no hurry to usher Stajan out of Toronto, and it was Flames GM Darryl Sutter’s insistence that Stajan be included which led to the blockbuster deal on Jan. 31, 2010.