The Vancouver Canucks hired Trevor Linden on Wednesday as president of hockey operations, one day after firing former president and general manager Mike Gillis.

Linden returns to lead the team that he played on for 16 seasons, including seven as team captain.

"Today is a real honor," Linden said in a statement. "I came to Vancouver 26 years ago and I have never left. I love this city. It is my home and the Canucks have always been part of my family.

"I'm passionate about the Canucks and I want to win -- just like our fans. I believe in this team and share the organization's commitment to excellence on and off of the ice. I am looking forward to getting started -- getting to know everyone in the organization, and working together to win the Stanley Cup for this great city and Province."

In his role, Linden will be responsible for all hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations.

Since retiring after 19 seasons in the NHL, Linden has resided in Vancouver where he has led a number of successful business ventures ranging from commercial/residential development projects to fitness club chains. He has also remained involved in the community through the Trevor Linden Foundation.

"We believe in Trevor's leadership abilities. His 20 years of NHL experience including seven as team captain, his role as NHLPA President, community leader and businessman offers a very special skill set; one that will positively shape the direction of this club in the future," said Francesco Aquilini, chairman of Canucks Sports & Entertainment.

The Canucks have been eliminated from the postseason, ensuring their first season without the playoffs since 2007-08.

Under Gillis, who was hired in April 2008, the Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2011 and won the Presidents' Trophy in back-to-back seasons (2010-12). The Canucks were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round each of the previous two seasons, winning just one game in the process.