I think the trouble is that in alot of ways Voyager is a step or two behind DS9 in its take on those events, even though cosmetic details (like the comm badges) indicate otherwise. In terms of its writing, "Caretaker" seems to take place within spitting distance of TNG season seven, what with all the build up about the Maquis and everything.
Though unsatisfactory, this is probably true. Although Quark and the station appear in the pilot, it did seem at the time that Voyager was positioned more as a successor to TNG rather than a spin-off of DS9. Certainly, "The Defiant" helped bridge the Maquis story between series, but it took more than a season for it to be taken up again on DS9 in any significant manner, whereas it was everpresent on Voyager.