McElhinney, 31, served as the backup to Sergei Bobrovsky this season and went 10-11-1 in 28 games with a 2.70 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts.
The wins and games played were career highs for McElhinney, a sixth-round pick (No. 176) of the Calgary Flames in the 2002 NHL Draft.
"I've said this before, that I think it's one of the hardest jobs in the League to be behind a goaltender who is capable of playing 65-70 games," Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen told the Dispatch. "And even now (with a non-compacted schedule) it will feel like a lighter schedule for Bob too. He's as durable as they come. He feels like he could play 82. So Curtis' job is to be ready for those 12-15 games.
"McElhinney is a great pro. He's a great partner for Bob, on the ice with him competing and pushing him and helping him out. To be able to be ready like he, he's really earned our respect."