"I think the key was hiring [Canucks General Manager] Jim Benning. Bringing him in and his vision and his view of what we had to do to get back to this place was decisive," Linden told CBC Vancouver host Andrew Chang.
"Once we started making those changes ... we were able to add quality people, very good players ... and these players gave us depth. Once we were able to do that, I felt we had a good chance to get back."
Linden, who was named president of hockey operations in April 2014, also credits Canucks Head Coach Willie Desjardins for making the players "believe in themselves again."
Watch Trevor Linden's interview to hear his thoughts on transitioning from player to president.