It was an awkward Next Generation reference. Supposedly the STVI writers were so clueless about Star Trek lore (and if you've read Denny Martin Flynn's follow-up novel The Fearful Summons you'll have little trouble believing this) that they originally planned an ending where the Enterprise was handed over to Captain Picard and the Next Generation crew.
Nah, it's merely symbolic, meant to acknowledge the TNG crew to audiences. It's not to be taken literally. I mean, do you think that they also expected us to think that Colonel Worf, who defended Kirk and McCoy in the show trial, was meant to be the same guy from Picard's crew?
With you on The Fearful Summons, aka The Dreadful Summons, though.