The news of Linden's new role comes a day after the club fired team president and general manager Mike Gillis.
Linden, who turns 44 on Friday, will be responsible for all hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations.
"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 Canucks Sports & Entertainment chairman Francesco Aquilini.
Linden was selected second overall by Vancouver in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft and spent the bulk of his career with the Canucks (1988-1998, 2001-08).
"Today is a real honor. I came to Vancouver 26 years ago and I have never left," Linden said. "I love this city. It is my home and the Canucks have always been part of my family."